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The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches Paperback – November 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Second Edition, Second edition edition (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613744781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613744789
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

About the Author

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!


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
First published in 2006, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DEAD ROCK STARS comes roaring back with an additional 200 pages, taking coverage to 2011. Jeremy Simmond's tribute to dead rock stars of the past 40-odd years is a fascinating if macabre treat for rock fans and trivia buffs alike.

Starting off with Alan Freed's death in 1965, Simmons presents a year-by-year accounting of rock singers, musicians, composers, managers, DJs, producers and what-not. Entries range from 1/3 of a page to three pages or more, providing insightful, comprehensive details on the life and career of the dearly departed along with details on how they left this mortal coil. A few of the entries have accompanying photographs; most don't.

All the usual suspects are included - Elvis, Jim Morrison, Janis, Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Cass Elliot, Sid Vicious, Tupac, etc. - along with lesser-knowns like Smiley Culture, Kazuhko Kato and Fritz Fryer. The update brings in recent deaths like Michael Jackson, Les Paul and Bo Diddley.

In short, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DEAD ROCK STARS is a thoroughly interesting guidebook to pop music's dead, full of fascinating facts and tidbits about the life and times of famous and not-so-famous rock folk. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Autumn M. on March 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first edition of "The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars" was published in 2008 and the entries ended in the year 2006 with the death of James Brown. The cover featured Jim Morrison's infamous gravesite. This 2012 edition has been expanded to the year 2011 with entries on some more recent musician's deaths (I'm sure we can all recall a few famous faces). The cover this time has a memorial to Kurt Cobain. Information has been updated but some mistakes still remain (example: an entry on Pete Ham of Badfinger says that he committed suicide shortly before his twenty-seventh birthday. Pete Ham WAS 27 when he committed suicide.) If you find them, don't hesitate to contact the publishers (I did), they'll be grateful for the corrections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Buckeye46 on April 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a large book, but very readable. I actually finished it far sooner than I thought I would. It brought back a lot of memories of artists that have been forgotten over the years.
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Format: Paperback
The Hendrix part of this book mulls Jimi's death too quickly and doesn't give enough detail. Simmonds mentions that Jimi started snorting heroin in the summer of 1970. While there could be some truth to this it really isn't relevant. When Simmonds gets down to Jimi's death he incorrectly cites that Jimi made the foolish mistake of combining 9 powerful Vesparax sleeping tablet barbiturates with alcohol. Not true. Jimi's autopsy report showed a tiny amount of alcohol in his blood not capable of causing any dangerous drug reaction. The reason the public doesn't know this is because the British Inquest and media never bothered to report it. Simmonds forgets to mention that the bottles of wine the attending emergency room physician, Dr Bannister, found in Jimi conflicts with the tiny blood alcohol content to the degree of evidence of foul play.

Simmonds is revealingly honest in some places. He admits Monika Dannemann gave Jimi the pills. He also admits Monika lied about Jimi being alive when the ambulance arrived. Simmonds says Jimi was "slain" by his own myth. I think Simmonds is aware there's more to Jim's death than he shows. I believe he's deliberately avoiding it for some reason. Please, if you are going to use Jimi for dead rock star statistics you should at least do him the justice of admitting his murder.
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