Name: Ronnie Van Zant
Band: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Died of: plane crash.
Why he was so great: One of many celebrities, he was one of the few who said they wanted to die before their 30th birthday, and succeeded without having to OD on smack. In fact, he died 3 months short of his birthday. You know why else he's so great? Because a damn lot of people don't realize he's dead. Though many say he and Niel Young were rivals, they were in fact friends, and collaborated on several songs. Oh, and that was such an issue, vandals broke into his tomb to see if he was wearing a Niel Young shirt.
Name: Layne Staley
Band: Alice in Chains
Died of: heroin/cocaine "speedball" Over dose.
Why he's so great: Damn, because he is the man in the box, damn it. Oh, and he died April 5, 2002, the same day as Kurt Cobain, 5 years later. And he's the one guy that could use the excuse "I'm a heroin addict" to get out of a tour. Most bands would be like "well, write some more kick ass songs about it, and release a new album, you fucking pussy."
Name: Cliff Burton
Died of: Bus crash. In Germany.
Why he was so great: He started playing bass when he was 14, which means there's still hope for me. He wrote 6 of the 8 tracks on Ride the Lightening. Apparently he didn't live long enough to do any of the crazy shit these other guys did, though.
Name: Sid Vicious
Band: Sex Pistols
Died of: Drug overdose.
Why he was so great: At only 21 years of age, Sex Pistol's bassist was very much addicted to drugs. Oh, and sources say he killed his girlfriend, Nancy, and killed himself to avoid the humiliation of a trial. Though, other sources say, that's bullshit, and he killed himself because of the broken heart she left behind. Oh, and he was using amphetamines by the time he was 9, with his mother, and started self-injuring when he was 10.
Name: Jim Morrison
Band: The Doors
Died of: Unknown
Why he was so great: He originally went to UCLA for theater, but ended up in a rock band. One of the most influential rock bands, at that. He showed up high or drunk to a damn lot of recording sessions, and in "Five to One" he can even be heard hiccuping. Oh, and he never got an autopsy, because he died in France, and if no foul play is suspected, they don't look for a cause of death, apparently.
Name: Jerry Garcia
Band: Grateful Dead
Died of: Heart attack.
Why he was so great: He was missing two-thirds of his right middle finger, due to an accident chopping wood, when he was 4 years old. Oh, and he originally went to school at San Fransisco's Art Institute. Grateful Dead spawned one of the biggest followings of any band of their time-- the Deadheads.
Name: Freddie Mercury
Died of: Bronchial pneumonia brought on by AIDS.
Why he was so great: He was the first celebrity to die of AIDS, greatly raising awareness about the disease. (Oh, and Bohemian Rhapsody was written 10 years before he was diagnosed. The song isn't about AIDS.) He never received any formal vocal training, yet he could sing across four octaves. Oh, and he wrote 10 out of Queen's 17 chart toppers.
Name: Kurt Cobain
Died of: Gunshot to the head. Homicide/suicide.
Why he was so great: He was friends with a gay in highschool. And claimed he was once arrested for painting "homo sex rules" on a bank, though he's stated "I'm not gay, although, I wish I was, just to piss off the homophobes." He liked to draw fetuses. Oh, and he suffered from a lifelong un-diagnosable stomach ailment, which lead him to an opiate addiction. We don't know, but we all think Courtney killed him.
Name: Dimebag Darrell Abbot
Died of: gunshot, during a live performance.
Why he was so great: He recorded a track with Dallas musician, Rodd, called "Country Western Transvestite Whore". He was self-taught, purportedly only taking one guitar lesson, ever. Oh, and he had a tattoo of Ace Freshly on his chest (as well as his signature).
Name: Randy Rhoads
Band: Ozzy Osbourne/Quiet Riot
Died of: plane crash.
Why he was so great: He played for Ozzy, for fuck's sake. He co-wrote "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy, the only identification the mainstream has with Aliester Crowley. Oh, and he learned to play on a Gibson... when he was 6 years old.
Name: Bradley Nowell
Died of: Heroin overdose.
Why he was so great: Head of punk-ska band Sublime, Bradley could do anything stoned. Oh, and he couldn't function without his dog, Louie, a dalmatian which most consider to be the mascot of Sublime.
Name: Wendy O. Williams
Band: The Plasmatics
Died of: self-inflicted gunshot to the head
Why she was so great: Female lead singer of a PUNK band. This chick went on stage nearly nude, and cut shit up with chainsaws. She was arrested numerous times for indecency, and was a walking statement against modern culture. After the Plasmatics, she worked as an animal rehabilitator.
Name: Syd Barret
Band: Pink Floyd
Died of: pancreatic cancer
Why he was so great: He was Pink Floyd. He was an amazing singer, songwriter, and artist. He was a recluse. He just epitomized awesome.
Name: Jimi Hendrix
Band: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Died of: Asphyxiated. On his own vomit.
Why he was so great: He took curlers with him to England, whilst on tour. He was self-taught. And a groupie wrote about him in her confession book. We all doubt its true, but you never know.
Name: Shannon Hoon
Band: Blind Melon
Died of: Accidental cocaine overdose.
Why he was so great: He was an amazing and caring man, as apparent if you listen to any interviews with him whilst he's sober. But the problem is, he wasn't sober often. Between attacking guards, pissing on fans, and wearing his girlfriend's dress on stage, Shannon was one crazy guy. Did I mention, he was inspired by Syd Barret, and grew up on Floyd and LSD?