The Saddest Classic Rock Events In History
Over the years, we have witnessed several tragedies that happened in the rock ‘n roll community. From airplane crashes to untimely deaths, these events shook the planet to its core. No one saw them coming and they’re proofs of just how fragile human beings are. The whole world mourned every rockstar’s passing and so when you read the following stories, you’ll most likely hear our hearts collectively breaking.
Let’s revisit some of the saddest moments in rock history.
10. Kurt Cobain’s Suicide
In 1994, Kurt Cobain had his hands full touring with Nirvana in support of their latest album. But it was also the year when he hit rock bottom. He suffered from throat problems, flu, and fatigue. He went into coma after taking too many pain medications. A few weeks later, his lifeless body was discovered in his Seattle home by electrician Gary Smith. He also found a shotgun and a suicide note.
9. The Who’s Concert in Cincinnati
On December 3, 1979, The Who performed at the Riverfront Coliseum as part of their World Tour. Over 18,000 tickets were sold out. Thousands of fans were already at the doors by 7PM and when it didn’t open at the scheduled time, they became more agitated. When The Who conducted their soundcheck, the crowd thought that the concert already started so they pushed those in front and surged through the doors. 26 people suffered from injuries and 11 died.
Apart from that, the show went on and The Who had no idea what happened until after the concert.
8. Death of Eric Clapton’s Son
One of the most heartbreaking stories in rock ‘n roll also spawned perhaps the saddest song in existence. On March 20, 1991, Clapton’s four-year old son Conor was living with his mother in a high-rise New York condominium. A housekeeper opened the window to their 49th floor unit to clean it. Conor darted past it and fell. It was a nightmare especially since Clapton wanted to better his ways because of his son.
“When he was born, I was drinking, and he was really the chief reason that I went back to treatment, because I really did love this boy. I thought, ‘I know he’s a little baby, but he can see what I’m doing, and I’m tired of this.'”
7. Randy Rhoads Accident
Randy Rhoads was only 25 years old and already making a name for himself in rock ‘n roll as a talented guitarist when he died after a joy ride gone wrong. They were on their way to Orlando, Florida when they stopped at an airstrip. Private pilot Andrew Aycock took Rhoads and makeup artist Rachel Youngblood to the air and tried buzzing the tour bus. On the third attempt, one of the wing’s clipped the top of the tour bus. The plane hit a pine tree before crashing onto the nearby house. The last thing Rhoads told Ozzy Osbourne was in reference to his heavy alcohol consumption. The guitarist told him, “You’ll kill yourself, you know? One of these days.”
6. Jim Croce Plane Crash
On September 20, 1973, Jim Croce and five others were killed when their chartered plane crashed into a tree following takeoff. And the saddest thing about Croce’s death was that he was already planning to quit the music industry to spend more time with his wife and son. In a letter he wrote to his widow, he said, “Remember, it’s the first 60 years that count and I’ve got 30 to go. I love you.”
5. Badfinger Tragedy
They have one of the most tragic and heartbreaking stories in rock ‘n roll. They were supposed to be the next big thing. When Stan Polley took over as manager, he gave them bad contracts which gave him majority of the earnings. He left them penniless which led to Pete Ham hanging himself in his garage just a few days before his 28th birthday. Years later, Tom Evans also hanged himself in his garden.
4. Duane Allman’s Motorcycle Accident
After the massive success and critical acclaim of “At Fillmore East”, The Allman Brothers Band went on their first real break in years. Duane was riding his motorcycle when he was forced to swerve to avoid a truck at the intersection. He was thrown from his bike and it skidded landed on top of him pinning him underneath. He died hours later due to the severity of injuries he sustained.
3. The Day The Music Died
On February 3, 1959, 22 year-old Buddy Holly along with Richie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash. María Elena, Holly’s wife of six months, learned about his death on TV. She was pregnant and eventually suffered from miscarriage.
2. Freddie Mercury’s Battle with AIDS
When his health was already deteriorating, Freddie Mercury still kept himself busy with making and recording music. And even when he was obviously ill, the press continued to hound and stalk him. When he lost his sight and found it hard to leave his bed, he then refused to take any medications. He died on November 24, 1991 surrounded by his loved ones.
1. Murder of John Lennon
On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed in front of his New York City apartment. The killer Mark David Chapman even asked for his autograph in the afternoon prior to the murder. Yoko Ono asked the hospital to hold off in telling the press about Lennon’s death before he could inform their 5-year old son Sean.