Being a rock n roll star can be a dangerous profession, as it seems that rock stars have been dropping dead left and right at early ages since the inception of rock n roll itself. These deaths are generally tragic, and oftentimes involve a good deal of drug use and debauchery. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at the youngest rock n roll deaths of the 1960s.
Martin Lamble 19
Martin Lamble is a figure that has gone down in history as the youngest popular musician to pass away during the 1960s. Martin’s tragic death came near the end of the decade, when his band was driving down the freeway in the spring of 1969. Martin Lamble was the drummer of the folk group Fairport Convention, which came from England. It was in England that the tragic accident that killed Martin occurred. Besides Martin, the girlfriend of Fairport Convention’s guitarist also perished in the accident.
According to the surviving members of the band, their bus was going 70 mile per hour down the freeway when their driver suddenly fell asleep. Guitarist Richard Thompson was the only one awake at the time, and he grabbed the wheel as soon as he saw that the van was veering off of the road. While this save managed to keep the van from colliding into a pole in the freeway’s median, Richard overcorrected. Richard’s sudden maneuvering of the wheel sent the van hurtling off the road. Richard claimed that he lost consciousness, and when he woke up he saw that his girlfriend was also unconscious. By the time emergency vehicles came, both her and Martin had passed away.
Eddie Cochran 21
Martin Lamble may have been the youngest popular musician to pass away in the 1960s, but he likely wouldn’t even be remotely notable if it weren’t for his tragic death at an early age. On the other hand, Eddie Cochran is a figure that found immense fame as a solo artist before his tragic death at the all-too-young age of 21. Eddie’s death occurred on Easter, with the young rock n roll legend passing away on April 17, 1960. At the time of his death, Eddie was in the United Kingdom, though he came from America.
As a result of both Eddie’s immense charm and his untimely tragic death, the rock n roll legend has often described as the James Dean of rock n roll. Like James Dean, Eddie had rogue good looks and an edge to match. However, Eddie’s form of expression was his music. Another thing that James Dean and Eddie Cochran have in common is that the minor amount of work both left behind is regarded as having cultural significance vastly outweighing it’s quantity.
While Eddie Cochran had rock-star good looks, he also had immense musical talent. The rock n roll legend was a multi-instrumentalist, proficient not only in his chosen instrument of guitar, but also in bass guitar and drums. Not only did Eddie have technical talent, but he also had a knack for penning tunes. Eddie wrote all his own hits, with the star’s most remembered songs including “Summertime Blues”.
Eddie had arrived in the United Kingdom in early 1960 to go on tour with fellow musician Gene Vincent. That tour ended tragically when Eddie perished in a car accident only several months later. Eddie’s early death made him immortal, and the rock n roll legend lives on through his limited works.
Bobby Fuller 23
One of the most impressive figures on this list is Bobby Fuller. Despite dying by his own apparent hand at the age of only 23. Bobby accomplished a great deal in his short lifetime. Unlike other stars on this list, Bobby accomplished a good deal of his dreams with relatively little help from outside sources. However, he wouldn’t have been able to get his start without the help of his parents. As it was the rock star’s parents who purchased him the instruments and recording equipment that he would use to become a Texas legend.
Making music with his friends using the equipment purchased by his parents; Bobby Fuller slowly began taking his hometown of El Paso, Texas, by storm. The rock star quickly became a local celebrity. By 1964, Bobby had enough money to purchase his own club. Bobby and his band, dubbed the Bobby Fuller Four, acted as the house band for the club, which catered towards teens. As a result of Bobby’s new club, his popularity increased tenfold.
By the end of 1964, the Bobby Fuller Four given a chance to head out to California and make a bid for national success. It was at this point that the record label began to take over. And the Bobby Fuller Four began to fall apart. Despite some initial commercial success, disagreements amongst Bobby and his bandmembers caused a good deal of tension. In addition, many of the band’s fans turned off by their new commercial direction.
It was in the wake of the Bobby Fuller Four selling and falling out that Bobby Fuller’s apparent suicide took place in July of 1966. The fallen star found dead in his mother’s car; with a plastic hose in his hands leading to a can of gasoline. This sight caused the authorities to label the death a suicide; though it later found that Bobby had been dead for longer than he had been in the car. Because of this, many have come to theorize that there some foul play involved in Bobby’s death. And that whoever killed him set his body up to look like he had committed suicide.
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Frankie Lymon 25
During his short lifetime, Frankie Lymon rose to prominence as one of the leads of the rock n roll group the Teenagers. The band achieved mainstream success with the release of their 1956 single “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”. True to the band’s name, Frankie was only a teenager at the time. Following the Teenagers’ breakout success; Frankie’s handlers had the young star make a bid for a solo career starting in 1957. Sadly, Frankie wasn’t able to find much solo success, and he entered into the 1960s with few prospects.
Little was heard from Frankie Lymon over the course of the 1960s until he died towards the end of the decade as a result of a heroin overdose. Though Frankie was over a decade removed from stardom at the time of his 1968 death; he was only 25 years old. The former rock star was found passed away on the floor of his grandmother’s bathroom.
Otis Redding 26
Unlike the aforementioned star, soul legend Otis Redding was at the top of the world when he died tragically in 1967. Legend has it that the singer had just finished recording the song that would end up being the biggest hit of his career posthumously; with that being “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”. The singer had laid down his vocals for the song; though some parts he simply whistled because he hadn’t yet written words to match the melody. Sadly, Otis would pass away before coming up with the words. The song ended up being released with Otis’ original whistling intact. With the song’s whistling outro now being one of the most iconic parts of the soul legend’s entire oeuvre. The singer’s death occurred while he was flying on his plane to perform a concert in Madison, Wisconsin.
Brian Jones 27
Brian Jones is best remembered for being one of the founding members of the Rolling Stones. And he helped develop the blues-tinted sound that the band still carries on to this day. Brian was the lead guitarist of the band; though he passed away before they created most of their iconic output during the 1970s. Prior to Brian’s passing, he was considered to be the creative figurehead of the band. It was Brian that chose the band’s musical direction. And his shadow still loomed over Keith Richards and Mick Jagger’s creative songwriting partnership after his tragic death in 1969, at the age of only 27.
Dickie Pride 27
Of course, there had to be at least one other rock star in this video that died at the age of 27. Dickie Pride was born in 1941, and he showed immense promise as a singer from an early age. Young Dickie’s voice was allegedly so angelic that his choir teachers believed he could be an opera singer when he grew up. Instead, he became a rock n roll star, and, subsequently, an early member of the venerable 27 Club.
Like Frankie Lymon, Dickie Pride was a figure that saw immense fame come and go over the course of his life, despite the fact that he died at a young age. Dickie was only 16 years old when he made his entrance into show business. Signing with Columbia Records in the late 1950s. Sadly, Dickie didn’t end up finding prolonged success with the label. By 1961, the young man’s star had largely faded. A few years into the decade, he started a family and was forced to take up a normal job.
Despite Dickie’s attempts to live a normal life, he still dreamed of stardom. His crushed dreams caused the fallen star to escape into drugs. With the former rock star developing a heroin addiction during the mid-1960s. This led to voluntary internment at a mental hospital, where the doctors allegedly performed a lobotomy on the singer. A few years later, he passed away from a sleeping pill overdose.
Although many people dream of becoming rock n roll legends, it seems that the field is incredibly dangerous to get into professionally. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that there were at least two 1960s rock n roll stars that died at the age of 27. And that one of them was a founding member of the Rolling Stones? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!