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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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Impish yet informative guide to the days the music died

The bible of music’s deceased idols—Jeff Buckley, Sid Vicious, Jimi Hendrix, Tupac, Elvis—this is the ultimate record of all those who arrived, rocked, and checked out over the last 40-odd years of fast cars, private jets, hard drugs, and reckless living. The truths behind thousands of fascinating stories—such as how Buddy Holly only decided to fly so he’d have time to finish his laundry—are coupled with perennial questions, including Which band boasts the most dead members? and Who had the bright idea of changing a light bulb while standing in the shower?, as well as a few tales of lesser-known rock tragedies. Updated to include all the rock deaths since the previous edition—including Ike Turner, Dan Fogelberg, Bo Diddley, Isaac Hayes, Eartha Kitt, Michael Jackson, Clarence Clemons, Amy Winehouse, and many, many more—this new edition has been comprehensively revised throughout. An indispensable reference full of useful and useless information, with hundreds of photos of the good, the bad, and the silly, this collection is guaranteed to rock the world 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!