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The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars
The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars

The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars

Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches


768 Pages, 7.5 x 9.25

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Trade Paper, $24.95 (US $24.95)

Publication Date: November 2012

ISBN 9781613744789

Rights: US

Chicago Review Press (Nov 2012)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $24.95


Impish yet informative guide to the days the music died

Did you know that Brian Jones was told by a medium to “avoid water”? Or that Buddy Holly only decided to fly so he’d have time to finish his laundry? The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars reveals the truth behind these and thousands of other fascinating stories, while answering such questions as: Which band boasts the most dead members, and which group lost the most members at one time? Who had the bright idea of changing a light bulb while standing in the shower? Whose suicide note read simply, “Sorry about all the blood?”             The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars is the bible of pop music’s dead, and Jeremy Simmonds draws on a lifetime of morbid obsession to pay homage to the industry’s biggest departed stars—Buddy, Jeff, Sid, Jimi, Biggie, Janis, Elvis, Marc, Tupac—as well as lesser-known tales of rock tragedy.            An indispensable reference full of strange facts, lucky escapes, top-ten death discs, and hundreds of photos of the good, the bad, and the silly, The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars—now fully updated to include the deaths of Bo Diddley, Isaac Hayes, Michael Jackson, Les Paul, Captain Beefheart, Gil Scott-Heron, Amy Winehouse, and many others—is guaranteed to rock the worlds of trivia buffs and diehards alike.


"Simmonds manages to be thorough and reverent, yet wry."  —The Village Voice

"Frighteningly comprehensive."  —Slug magazine

"Entertaining and time-eatingly captivating. . . . Fascinating and a must-have for the shelves of every music obsessive. . . . If you're a rock fan, I guarantee you won't put it down for hours."  —Lincoln Journal Star

"A huge, affectionate and strangely compelling chronicle. . . . There's no shortage of rip-roaring sagas, shot through with black humor, pathos, and peculiar insight."  —New Statesman

"An entertaining chronology . . . comprehensively detailed and interspersed with lighter facts and interesting charts."  —Daily Express

"Simmonds plays on our obsession with the bizarre and the tragic in equal measure. As humorous as it is enthralling."  —Rock Sound

"There have been previous attempts to collect a roll call of rock's dead, but all pale in comparison to this page-turner. . . . The book is factually strong, and written in a manner that balances proper homage with the irreverence expected of a book dedicated to any facet of rock 'n' roll. It's spiked with a wickedly dark sense of humor. . . . As death goes, the book is pretty darned amusing."  —Winston-Salem Journal

"A cheekily informal and entertaining account. . . . An engrossing read [with] cohesion, depth, and flair. . . . Fascinating."  —Library Journal

Author Biography

Jeremy Simmonds is the coauthor of Rough Guide to Rock and a freelance music writer. He wrote and produced seven series of the popular BBC television show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, as well as the pop quiz show Mental!