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Random Famous Rock Bands That Were Struck By Horrifying and Violent Tragedies

  • AC/DC on Random Famous Rock Bands That Were Struck By Horrifying and Violent Tragedies

    (#2) AC/DC

    • Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music, Heavy metal, Rock and roll, Hard rock

    Hard rock legends AC/DC are one of the few bands to become even more popular as the years wore on, despite the tragedy that has circled the group since the '80s. Lead singer Bon Scott died from choking on his own vomit in early 1980. This might sink a lesser band, but AC/DC persevered, and soared to new heights. In the 2010s, after decades of mega success, things got weird. In 2014, guitarist Malcolm Young left the band, feeling the effects of dementia. Young moved into a nursing home, having completely lost his short-term memory. Singer Brian Johnson then left because he was losing his hearing.

    Then there's the saga of drummer Phil Rudd. In 2014, Rudd was arrested for attempted murder (he was accused of trying to hire a hitman), as well as meth and pot possession. His behavior during sessions for the band's 2014 album Rock or Bust was erratic, but no one expected he'd take such a dark turn.

    All said and done, Angus Young is the only member of the band's seminal line up still in the band, and kinda-sorta still ticking.

  • The Mamas & the Papas on Random Famous Rock Bands That Were Struck By Horrifying and Violent Tragedies

    (#9) The Mamas & the Papas

    • Sunshine pop, Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Folk rock, Psychedelic rock

    They may appear to be an innocuous group of happy '60s hippies, but the Mamas & Papas went through some dark sh*t. Singer Cass Elliott battled weight issues until her death in 1974 from heart failure due to obesity. There's a long-standing sick joke she choked on a ham sandwich, but that isn't true.

    Vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter John Phillips had a checkered history. He was addicted to heroin for most of the '70s, and was arrested and convicted of conspiring to distribute narcotics in 1980. He spent a month in the big house in 1981. Phillips was accused of incest rape by his daughter Mackenzie, who alleged she had a sexual relationship with him for 10 years, which only ended when she got pregnant and didn't know whether he was the father. 

  • The Allman Brothers Band on Random Famous Rock Bands That Were Struck By Horrifying and Violent Tragedies

    (#1) The Allman Brothers Band

    • Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock, Folk rock, Electric blues, Country rock, Jam band, Country, Blues, Southern rock, Roots rock, Hard rock

    If there were a poster band for enduring crippling tragedy while keepin' on keepin' on, it's the Allmans. Everyone knows one of the band's namesakes, Duane Allman, died in a motorcycle accident in his hometown of Macon, GA. To compound that tragedy, bassist Berry Oakley also died in a motorcycle wreck, a little more than a year after Duane. Oakley's accident occurred just three blocks from Allman's.

    Meanwhile, singer Gregg Allman, brother to Duane, has battled drugs, hepatitis C, cancer, and Cher. In early 2017, drummer and founding member Butch Trucks committed suicide by shooting himself in front of his wife. 

  • The Band on Random Famous Rock Bands That Were Struck By Horrifying and Violent Tragedies

    (#4) The Band

    • Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock, Country rock, Alternative country, Country, Roots rock

    The Band are one of the most celebrated folk groups of all time. They're best known for their work with Bob Dylan, the Martin Scorsese concert film The Last Waltz, and the tragic deaths of three of their members. 

    Following The Band's initial split after The Last Waltz, the group got back together in 1983. In 1986, piano player Richard Manuel, a long-struggling drug addict and alcoholic, committed suicide by hanging himself in a Florida motel room following a show. His replacement, Stan Szelest, died in 1991 from a heart attack.

    Guitarist Rick Danko had his own string of bad luck. In 1968, he was severely injured in a car accident, breaking his neck and back in six places. In 1999, he died of heart failure due to drug use (he was convicted in 1996 after receiving of a package of heroin in the mail) and alcoholism.

    Keyboardist Richard Bell died in 2007 from multiple myeloma and singer/drummer Levon Helm died from cancer in 2012. 

    When The Band reformed after The Last Waltz, without lead guitarist and primary song writer Robbie Robertson, things fell apart. Either Robertson had tremendous foresight, or The Band's subsequent legacy could be called the Curse of Robbie Robertson.

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers on Random Famous Rock Bands That Were Struck By Horrifying and Violent Tragedies

    (#10) Red Hot Chili Peppers

    • Alternative Rock, Funk Metal

    It's easy to forget how out of control the Red Hot Chili Peppers were in the '80s and '90s, given the band's post-Californication shift to warm, cuddly cultural touchstones. From rampant drug use to insane sexual exploits, the band faced a ton of strife, much of which detailed in Anthony Kiedis's batsh*t insane autobiography Scar Tissue.

    Guitarist Hillel Slovak died of a heroin overdose, which led to then-drummer Jack Irons having a nervous breakdown. Replacement guitarist John Frusciante, developed a raging heroin addiction upon leaving the band in the early '90s. Lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis battled heroin addition for decades. In his book he writes of shooting up in his mid-40s in seedy motels with models half his age while the band was playing stadiums. 

    Drugs and mental breakdowns, yet the band forges on in the 21st century. 

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd on Random Famous Rock Bands That Were Struck By Horrifying and Violent Tragedies

    (#5) Lynyrd Skynyrd

    • Outlaw country, Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music, Country rock, Alternative country, Country, Blues, Southern rock, Roots rock, Hard rock

    Legendary southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd will forever be defined by a freak accident that changed the band permanently. On a fateful day in 1977, the band's chartered Convair CV-240 plane crashed in Mississippi when it ran out of fuel. Lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines (Steve's older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray all died. Their Street Survivors album was released three days earlier.

    If that wasn't bad enough, guitarist Allen Collins's wife died of a hemorrhage due to a miscarriage. Collins was later involved in car accident in 1986 that killed his girlfriend and left him paralyzed from the waist down. He pleaded no contest to DUI manslaughter and died in 1990 from pneumonia. 

    Leon Wilkeson, Skynyrd's bassist since 1972, was found dead in his hotel room on July 27, 2001 due to emphysema and chronic liver disease. Lastly, keyboardist Billy Powell died of a heart attack in 2009. Only one original member, Gary Rossington, is still alive  as of 2017 (drummer Artimus Pyle survived the accident but wasn't a founding member). 

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About This Tool

The entire history of rock music is an amazing legend, the most amazing part of which is often created by those tragic characters who died in violent tragedies. Although their music career was short, it was vigorous. Their murder, overdoses, suicides added a touching and tragic color to their respective musical achievements. Like the Rolling Stone became a model for drug abuse in the UK.

The random tool generates 10 items, there are some famous rock bands that were struck by horrifying and violent tragedies, you could find more story about their tragic life. Welcome to leave the message and share your thoughts.  

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