Tim Kelly, 1/16/63 – 2/5/98. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Tim was the guitarist for Slaughter. He was self taught at guitar and has his first band in the sixth grade. Tim died from head injuries after an automobile accident. He was 35.

From what I've read about Tim, he seemed like a really nice guy. He also knew the heartache of losing a loved one (his sister) to cancer and wrote a song for her. It seems wrong that the persona responsible for his death only received three years in prison (he was driving an 18 wheeler under the influence of several drugs and crashed into Tim).

Carl Wilson, (Carl Dean Wilson), 12/21/46 – 2/6/98. Born in Hawthorne, California Carl was a singer and lead guitarist for The Beach Boys. Carl was the youngest of the Wilson brothers. He died of lung cancer. Carl was 51.

Carl seemed to be talked about less then his Beach Boy brother's, Brian and Dennis. Here is a very touching account about the end of Carl's career, "Wilson was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in early 1997. Despite his illness and chemotherapy treatments, Carl continued to perform after diagnosis. Carl played through the Beach Boys' entire summer tour which ended in the fall of 1997. He sat down most of the time and needed oxygen after every song, but he still had his unique voice. The only time he stood during concerts was when he sang "God Only Knows" to his fans."

The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
via FoxyTunes

Falco (Johann Hölze) 2/16/57 - 2/6/98. Born in Vienna, Austria, Falco was a rap, pop and rock musicians with four #1 hits. Falco died from injuries sustained in a collisions with a bus. He was 40.

Okay, who has not at one time or another caught themselves singing along to the chorus of "Rock Me Amadeus"? Its an unusual but catchy tune and was also the only German language song to become a number one hit in the U.S. Sad ending to his life.

Falco - Rock Me Amadeus
via FoxyTunes

Cozy Powell, (Colin Flooks) 12/29/47 - 4/5/98. Born in Gloucester, England. He began playing drums at age 12 and worked with many bands over the years including Rainbow, Black Sabbath, The Jeff Beck Group and Whitesnake. Cozy died in a single car crash while driving under the influence of alcohol. He was 50.

Cozy was an incredible drummer! See for yourself here. He played with some very impressive bands. I read that Led Zeppelin considered asking him to join the band when John Bonham died. I am glad they chose to disband, it was the right thing to do, no one could replace Bonzo, but Cozy was a damn good choice if they chose to continue. Another tragic loss that could have been avoided.

Wendy O Williams, (Wendy Orleans Williams) 5/28/49 – 4/6/98. Born in Webster, New York, Wendy was the lead singer and guitarist for The Plasmatics. She was known for her shocking stage performances which often included blowing up equipment and chain-sawing guitars. She ended her own life by shooting herself. Wendy was 48.

Another depression ending in suicide. After reading a portion of her suicide note it seems that she made the decision after a lot of thought. In contrast to the punk rock persona she had, Wendy had a much softer side, "Despite her reputation as a fearsome performer, Williams in her personal life was deeply devoted to the welfare of animals, a passion that included a vegetarian diet, working as a wildlife rehabilitator and being a natural foods activist. "

Wendy O. Williams & Plasmatics - Party
via FoxyTunes

Carl Perkins, 4/9/32 – 1/19/98. Born in Tiptonville, Tennessee Carl was a pioneer in rockabilly music. He influenced many musicians who went on to have successful careers including Elvis, Johnny Cash and The Beatles. Carl died of cancer. He was 65.

According to Charlie Daniels, "Carl Perkins' songs personified the rockabilly era, and Carl Perkins' sound personifies the rockabilly sound more so than anybody involved in it, because he never changed." Many artists have covered his songs. He is most famous for the classic "Blue Suede Shoes".

Carl Perkins - Susie Q
via FoxyTunes

John Panozzo, 9/20/48 – 7/16/98. John was born in Chicago, Illinois, he was the drummer and a founding member of Styx. Years of partying with excessive drinking began to take a toll on his liver eventually dying of gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. He was 47.

I enjoyed reading about John's early start in music. He and his twin brother, Chuck, both picked up instruments at age seven. Then they hooked up with their neighbor, Dennis de Young, and the beginnings of Styx was formed. Unfortunately partying got in the way and ruined his health. "The band dedicated their 1996 Return to Paradise tour to him, and Tommy Shaw, who had earlier replaced Curulewski, wrote the song "Dear John" as the band's final tribute to their drummer and friend."

Styx - Renegade
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

Throughout the 90s Carl was working with Robert Lamm (of Chicago) and Gerry Beckley (of America) on a trio project as their respective schedules allowed. Because all 3 singers were in bands that toured extensively it took several years to record the album. When Carl died the album's release was put in doubt but Beckley and Lamm released the album, Like a Brother in Carl's memory in 2000.

The album features one of the most beautiful vocal performances I've ever heard from Carl (second only to God Only Knows), a song he wrote and dedicated to his sons titled I Wish For You. I've heard that it was the last song he recorded before he passed away, although I've never been able to confirm that.