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The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars: Heroin, Handguns, and Ham Sandwiches [Paperback]

Jeremy Simmonds
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 604 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Updated edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527548
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 19 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 853,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK 16 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book highly recommended to all music lovers very well written and sent fast as always by Amazon
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ha ha ha! 30 Mar 2009
Fascinating and funny in equal measure, this book will tell you a lot about the dead rock stars you thought you knew about and those you don't.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In a strange way kind of fascinating! 24 Nov 2010
Who would have thought to put a book together of dead rock stars? I liked it! It's in a strange way kind of fascinating. Finding my own deceased husband in there was kind of odd, but I see it rather as an honor than macabre!
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Sonja Paris

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Enough in a Macabre Sort of Fashion! 28 Oct 2008
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DEAD ROCK STARS is a 2008 updated version of NUMBER ONE IN HEAVEN published in 2006. If your interest is departed rock stars, this is the book for you. Maxing out at 604 pages, this little beauty will fill you in on just about every major and minor pop star who cashed their chips between 1965 and 2006.

Though another reviewer faulted this book for inaccuracies, I found it to be a treasure trove of info on not only the death but also the life and times of hundreds of singers/musicians/composers/DJs/etc.

Leafing through Simmonds' book you come across all the 'usual suspects' (Morrison, Joplin, Redding, Croce, Allman and Lennon), lesser lights and the "how do they rate" personalities (i.e. Divine?). The book has some photos but mostly 1000s and 1000s of facts presented in a surprisingly tasteful and sympathetic fashion.

All in all, a well-done book on an interesting - if macabre - subject. Recommended.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Coffee table book 19 Dec 2008
By Fester Lipschiz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite complaints about inaacuuracies from other reviewers, i would have to recommend this. Its a really fun book to just thumb through. If you want super detailed bios about all the subjects then this is not the place. But if you want to read some interesting stories and learn about some realy tragedies in teh music world....here it is.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Thorough 8 Aug 2008
By M. Czekay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting history of of the usually untimely deaths of well-known music stars and many obscure ones also. Very hard to put down!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Morbid Title? Maybe ... Useful and Informative? Definitely 25 May 2011
By DACHokie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The tongue-in-cheek book title may be the biggest drawback to this treasure trove of interesting information. While the deaths of the famous and infamous always seem to garner enough interest for media outlets to conduct almost daily eulogies on their behalf, it is the death of the "rock star" that often gains some of the greatest attention (think Elvis Presley). The "sex, drugs and rock n' roll" mantra always seems to lead to the early demise of some rock icons (think Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison), the deaths of others are often shrouded in mystery (Brian Jones) or mythology (Mama Cass). What makes the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DEAD ROCK STARS so impressive is that it is simply a great resource on the lives (not just the deaths) of both prominent and obscure "rock stars" (a term used liberally considering the book includes the likes of Kurt Cobain ... and Frankie Lymon).

The book is presented chronologically rather than alphabetically as each chapter represents a complete year (January-December, from 1965 through 2006) containing the "obituaries" of those who have passed during the given year. True to the book's title, each "obit" is preceded with an icon that represents the cause of death (drugs, illness, suicide, etc.) and is followed with a healthy dose of useful and interesting details that inform the reader of the decedent's significance ... including the good, the bad and the bizarre (GG Allin for example). Jeremy Simmonds' methodical approach to the subject matter includes a preface that explains the likelihood of certain "rock stars" not being included in the book, the rationale for those who were included and the deaths of some prominent figures prior to 1965. To include as many individuals as possible, the author opts for brevity over bounty and the presentation is more factoid-based than biographical ... even then, the book clocks-in at 600+ pages. Interesting sidebar lists and photos are peppered profusely throughout the book and some of the more significant individuals are given a full page "obit". What I found most useful about the book was the diverse range of those individuals referenced, from the totally obscure to the superstar icons with the almost famous, one-hit wonder types filling the middle. Throughout this voluminous accumulation of obituaries, I learned a great deal. The book reminded me of artists I'd long forgotten about, informed me of those whose contributions I knew little about, shocked me with those who I thought were still alive and clarified certain deaths that have been mischaracterized over the years.

At first glance (again, blame it on the title) the book alludes to a sarcastic/distasteful approach on the subject matter ... but it is not. The ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DEAD ROCK STARS is a fairly comprehensive resource that takes account of those who contributed to the music scene but are no longer around. The book should appeal to anyone that enjoys/appreciates modern music and/or pop culture.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars encylopedia of dead rock stars 13 Sep 2009
By jo norberg - Published on Amazon.com
My husband is a music buff and said this is one of th best books for lots of information. Great BD gift!!!
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