independent

Saturday 17 August 2019

One list to die for

WITH JIM HAYES

Think of a list, any list, and chances are somebody else has already been there and done that. I googled the word ' top ten list' the other day and came up with 922,000,000 results, so there are a lot of people out there with waaaay too much time on their hands.

Sean McDowell, an American radio DJ in Pittsburgh, has a list of truly mind-boggling proportions on the website of 99.1 The Fox FM, a classic rock radio station.

McDowell calls it a ' death list' and that should be a clue to the subject matter. Essentially, he has laboriously listed the names of hundreds upon hundreds of deceased artists and how they died.

The list appears to go on forever but McDowell says it's not as comprehensive as it could be.

'I'm not including all of the country stars or jazz stars who've died, the list would go on forever if I did,' he says.

'Same with many of the lesser known blues musicians from over the years. And I'm not including current ' top 40' artists either because many of them are rappers and rappers get shot daily.'

McDowell lists his subjects under various headings, from the simple ' Cocaine' and 'Alcohol' to the convoluted 'Guns/Stabbing/Assassination/by Misadventure'.

The latter has some unusual entries: Beatles road manager Mal Evans was ' shot by police in Los Angeles during a serious misunderstanding', while early 50s R&B star Johnny Ace died playing 'russian roulette backstage during a break'.

McDowell's biggest category is headlined 'Natural Causes' showing, if nothing else, that rock stars are really no different than the rest of the population.

He also lists ' Everyone Heroin ALMOST Killed' which includes three Rolling Stones (Richards, Jones, Taylor) and an entire band, 3 Dog Night.

The author approaches his subject with a cold eye and graveyard humour.

Mama Cass and Steve 'Peregrine' Took are listed under ' Too Much Food'.

The larger than life Mamas and Papas singer died of a heart attack while T-Rex drummer Took 'choked on a cherry pit'.

On the other hand, Karen Carpenter (who died from anorexia) is the sole listing under ' Too Little Food'.

I'm tempted to say food for thought, but if this chunk of trivia tells me one thing it's that I really should get out more.

- One person who risks joining the above list is Katy Perry, if we are to believe The Sun.

Apparently, tour insurers have asked the singer to remove her infamous spinning bra from her set for fear it could cause serious injury or worse. Seems her hair has been getting caught in the contraption, coiling around the wheels.

And you think you have problems.

Most Read

News