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The Day The Music Died! - (A Song-Inspired Story)

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Written by   102
3 months ago
Topics: Gems, Savings, Trip, Medication, Addiction, ...

Remember that line written by Don Mclean "the Day the Music Died", he wrote that song (American Pie) to commemorate Buddy Holly who died in a plane crash in 1959 together with Ritchie Valens, and "The Big Bopper" J. P. Richardson.

The Day The Music Died - Don McLean on Buddy Holly's crash

It´s written that for McLean that crash symbolized the "loss of innocence" of the early rock-and-roll generation.

Over time Rock&Roll lost all its innocence and come the eighties it was little more than a money-making machine. Luckily the internet is changing that a little nowadays.

The good news is that the music never died fully, although lately I am being haunted by the deaths of many of the greats. All get taken to play the great big gig in the Sky, talent like Mr. Jim Steinman and his accomplish Mr. Meatloaf left this rock in space within a year from each other.

MEAT LOAF/JIM STEINMAN - Wasted Youth / All Revved Up With No Place To Go - 1978

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To Never Be A Grandpa

Now that Don Mclean song was playing through my head while I was finishing up my article about our Eighties heroes such as George Michael, Michael Jackson, and Prince and how they all seem to be dying before their grandpa days.

What I stumbled upon is that many of those artists did not die of natural causes, they often died of one particular cause. An Overdose of prescription Meds.

Where rockstars used to die of a drug overdose, mostly Heroin, sometimes Morphine, they are now taken from us by pain medication.

Placebo - Meds (lyrics)

Maybe I am overdoing it a bit, as even back when Elvis died codeine and Percodan were among the drugs found in Elvis Presley’s body. Still looking at the list of dead musicians I see a trend.

Michael Jackson

MJ died of an accidental overdose administered by his physician consisting of Lorazepam and propofol. So even though he used fentanyl it did not kill him. Unlike two other greats that did die of


Accidental Fentanyl overdose, as Prince had a Painkiller addiction. Rumor has it that his doctor was not available or willing to prescribe anything that night, and Prince took to the streets where he probably picked up Vicodin laced with fentanyl that killed him.

Tom Petty

Tom could get a lifetime achievement award if it came to drug use. He was a recovering addict for years. Still, the medical examiner found these drugs in Petty's system: fentanyl, oxycodone, acetyl fentanyl, and despropionyl fentanyl, which are opioids; temazepam and alprazolam, which are sedatives; and citalopram, an antidepressant.

Acetyl fentanyl is estimated to be 15 times more potent than morphine, but much less potent than actual fentanyl. It is a drug and has never been considered medication.

The cause of death was "multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest(cardiac arrest) due to mixed drug toxicity" and the death was listed as an "accident." A high dose of fentanyl can cause respiratory failure, and that failure will trigger the cardiac arrest.

Chris Cornell

Yes, indeed Chris did not die directly of Meds, but hung himself. Still in his blood were evident signs of prescription drug abuse:
The toxicology report revealed his blood contained high levels of barbiturates (prescription sedatives), four doses of lorazepam (also known as the anxiety medication Ativan), and what I think was weird Naloxone which was administered by EMTs to stop a possible overdose. Why would Naloxone be administered if it was a suicide, right?

Especially after reading this:

Attorney Kirk Pasich elucidated further, stating, “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”

Chris Cornell Like Suicide Acoustic

Dear reader give me just one minute more as I am coming to the point, I just need some time and love to get lost in the details.

The point is: Why do they Die?

Back in the day when heroin and morphine were the drugs of choice stopping someone from ODing was a bit easier. In those days you had time to soak them in a bath or keep them moving until they got to the ER.

Not with Fentanyl, and some of these other fancy addictive devices big pharma came up with. You nowadays have about 20 minutes before they stop breathing. That's how overdoses with such drugs kill. First, they lose consciousness and then they stop breathing.

Music, Fame, and Drugs somehow seem to go hand in hand. From my personal experience drugs are everywhere, but more widely available in the Music scene. That did not stop me from wondering why so many musicians lately died of some extreme painkillers.

Morphine - Cure For Pain

Till I started reading up on this pandemic that Big Pharma has invested the US with.

From May 2020 to April 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose, with over 64 percent of these deaths due to synthetic opioids like fentanyl and its analogs.

China used to be the biggest supplier but banned the sale and production of the drug in 2019. The ban does not seem to be effective as the stream of fentanyl and related products out of China has only increased.

It increased so drastically that even the normal drug market is invested with fentanyl, drugs are laced or replaced by this substance.
Hence looking at those global numbers the number of musicians dying from these super painkillers is not even that high. In the case of Prince and Tom Petty, it seems it was indeed a combination of addiction and pain that ended their careers.

Tom was determined to finish his last tour ever even though he had hellish pains, as explained by his wife and daughter on Facebook.

"Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury.
"On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full-on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his overuse of medication."

Prince´s story is more dramamatic. The Daily Mail, not the best source I know, had an interview with a man calling himself Doctor D. This dealer says he sold the Partyman Prince drugs for nearly 25 years. According to Doctor D. Prince was a “majorly addicted,” that used the drugs to deal with his “crippling stage fright.”

More factual was that Prince already overdosed one week before his death. His plane made an emergency landing and Prince was carried from the plane by his bodyguard “like you would carry a little kid or a baby.” Paramedics had to use two doses of a medicine that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

When Prince and his intimates discussed that he needed to stop using painkillers Prince said he couldn’t — his hands hurt so much that if he quit, he’d have to stop performing. A lifetime of extreme performances had been taking its toll on the little man that was larger than life on a stage.

That "stage life" is probably the origin of all those heroes dying before their time.
Artists are touring more than ever before. This is the first generation that has been going on the road for so many years, doing such long tours. On the road they are live the Rock & Roll lifestyle, drinking a lot, sleeping a little, not eating right, or taking care of themselves.

Charming Liars - Like a Drug

But fame is a drug that too often keeps pulling them back in, and if it ain´t the fame it´s the lack of savings:

“It’s very difficult to not take pain meds.” David Crosby, 76, says he tours out of necessity, “or else I will not be able to keep my home. I don’t have any savings.

The Bottom Line

Guess the bottom line is that we never had a generation of global rock stars reaching their pensions, slowly sliding into their grandpa days. Fame is a drug, being a performer takes a lot from the body, and being an artist often requires a sensitivity that makes dealing with fame & fortune nearly impossible.

That partially explains what we are seeing, but drug usage and addiction are actually quite common and mundane. People use drugs to get away from their lives and troubles because they are unable to deal with them.
There is a line that turns creative use into drug abuse but we only hear about it if fame has fallen, not when the neighbor across the street OD'd.

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Written by   102
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These artists perform to make a living... unfortunately... it's also killing them...

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