Even I don't always agree with my opinion


The Ones That Rock ‘N Roll Didn’t Get

Posted June 21, 2009 by jim young in Media

– jim young

“If I can get Jerry Lee in the mood, we’ll have the National Enquirer here in about 15 minutes.”
     – Ronnie Hawkins, 1995 at his 60th Birthday Concert at Massey Hall

Many of the greats have succumbed to the pressures of life on the road and the pitfalls encountered in the lifestyle that is Rock ‘n Roll.

But was it really the pressures of Rock ‘n Roll or the rewards themselves that took some of these people before their time?

From Wikipedia:
At a private screening of “The Last Waltz”, Ronnie Hawkins laughed at Robertson’s heavily made-up face, and his monologuing about life on the road:
The world weary angst with which these and other lines were delivered w
as making Ronnie laugh. Hell, he’d been on the road twenty years and it hadn’t killed him. I’d nudge Ronnie to make him stop, and then Robertson would come out with something like, ‘Yeah the road has taken many of the great ones: Hank Williams, Otis, Jimi, Janis, Elvis. It’s a goddamn impossible way of life.’ The Hawk howled at that one.
     – Levon Helm “The Wheel’s On Fire”

To Robbie Robertson’s list in the Wikipedia quote above one might add, Richard Manuel, Keith Moon, Bill Haley, Jim Morrison and many others.

I did not include in my list people like Buddy Holly as I likely wouldn’t have included Otis Redding from Robertson’s list. Although certainly victims of life on the road, rock stars do not have a monopoly on airplane, automobile or motorcycle crashes. None of us are immune to accidents.

Likewise I did not include Sam Cooke or John Lennon whose lives were cut short at the hands of other people. One might argue they were murdered because of their professions; because of their Rock ‘n Roll status – but it was nonetheless an external force that they had no control over that brought them to their end.

And while many rock stars have died of so-called “natural causes” ie: heart attacks or other medical reasons, it is pretty much accepted that their pre-mature departures might have been prevented to some degree had they not let the pressures of Rock ‘n Roll overwhelm them.

So why do so many lose their way while others have survived? Is it because everyone will battle their own demons in their own way with some being more prone to win?

Everything else being equal I wonder what has kept the likes of Ronnie Hawkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Joe Cocker, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman alive?

So instead of compiling a list of rockers that you might like to see perform in an all-star Rock ‘N Roll Heaven band, let’s start a list of the Rock ‘N Roll stars that shouldn’t be alive today.

Rock ‘N Roll Earth would consist of the following members to start:

Ronnie Hawkins
Jerry Lee Lewis
Joe Cocker
Keith Richards
Burton Cummings
Randy Bachman

Now – add your list of nominees to the Rock ‘N Roll Earth All Star Band.

– 30 –


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