Gordon Polatnick's
"A Site About Dead Musicians...and how they got that way"

(Due to the nagging advice of so many, I decided to stop working on this site in 2004 so I could "get a life."  Mission accomplished. GP)

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But before you do
Required Reading List


Musicians listed by


Screamin' Jay Hawkins  



(Regularly Updated)


In Association with

When Elvis Died: Media Overload and the Origins of the Elvis Cult by Neal Gregory, Janice Gregory (Contributor)

The Black Elvis - Jackie Wilson by Doug Carter

Who Killed Kurt Cobain?: The Mysterious Death of an Icon

The Dead Circus:  A Novel by John Kaye (A Bobby Fuller Mystery)

Johnny Cash: by Frank Moriarty

Cash: The Autobiography by Johnny Cash

Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Reader by Michael Streissguth (Editor)

From the Heart by June Carter Cash

Jazz and Death: Medical Profiles of Jazz Greats by Frederick J. Spencer, MD

Aaliyah: An R&B Princess in Words and Pictures by Kelly Kenyatta

Aaliyah: More Than a Woman  by Christopher John Farley

Lisa Lopes: The Life of a Supernova by Nancy Krulik

Hey Hey Let's Go: The Story of the Ramones by  Everett True

Selena Perez: Queen of Tejano Music (Great Hispanics of Our Time)

Without You: The Tragic Story of Badfinger (with 72 minute cd) by Dan Matovina

Thelonious Monk: His Life and Music Thomas Fitterling, Steve Lacy, Robert Dobbin (Translator)

Before He Was Fab: George Harrison's First American Visit by Jim Kirkpatrick

An Unsung Cat (Warne Marsh) by Safford Chamberlain NEW

Dance of the Infidels: A Portrait of Bud Powell by Francis Paudras, Rubye Money

Bill Evans: How My Heart Sings by Peter Pettinger

The Artistry of Bill Evans by Bob Hinz

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross

Songs of the Unsung: The Musical and Social Journey of Horace Tapscott by Horace Tapscott, Steven Louis Isoardi

Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams by Linda Dahl

Aaliyah  by Tim Footman

Skylark (Johnny Mercer) by Philip Furia

Dead Man Blues: Jelly Roll Morton Way Out West (Music of the African Dia spora) by Phil Pastras

Jazz Generations: A Life in American Music and Society (Bayou) by Buddy Collette, Stephen Isoardi

Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley  by Peter Harry Brown, Pat H. Broeske

Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Memoir by the Man Who Knew Him Best
by Peter Freestone, David Evans (Contributor)

Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley   by Peter Guralnick

The Late Great Johnny Ace and the Transition from R&B to Rock 'N' Roll by James M. Salem

Tammy Wynette: A Daughter Recalls Her Mother's Tragic Life and Death by Jackie Daly, Tom Carter

John Bonham: A Thunder of Drums by Chris Welch, Geoff Nicholls

Moon: The Life and Death of a Rock Legend by Tony Fletcher --(Keith Moon book)

Remembering Buddy: The Definitive Biography of Buddy Holly by John Goldrosen, John Beecher (Contributor)

Behind the Music: The Day the Music Died by Martin Huxley, Quinton Skinner --(Buddy Holly book)

The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens --by Larry Lehmer

Clifford Brown: The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter  by Nick Catalano

Don't Forget Me: The Eddie Cochran Story by Julie Mundy, Darrel Higham

El Sid: Saint Vicious by David Dalton

Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley by David Browne

Patsy: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline by Margaret Jones

Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway by Colin Escott, Kira Florita, Marty Stuart (Introduction)

Hickory Wind: The Life and Times of Gram Parsons by Ben Fong-Torres

Gram Parsons: A Music Biography by Sid Griffin, John Delgatto (Editor)

Gram Parsons: God's Own Singer: by Jason Walker

Marc Bolan: A Tribute

Lobotomy: Surviving the Ramones by Dee Dee Ramone

Poison Heart: Surviving the Ramones by Dee Dee Ramone

Chelsea Horror Hotel: A Novel by Dee Dee Ramone

Taxi: The Harry Chapin Story by Peter Morton Coan

Jaco: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius: 'the World's Greatest Bass Player'

Django Reinhardt  by Charles Delaunay, Michael James (Translator)

Positively 4th Street : The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina, and Richard Farina

Death of a Rebel/a Biography of Phil Ochs  by Marc Eliot, Vin Scelsa

The Final Days of Michael Hutchence by Mike Gee

Just a Man: The Real Story of Michael Hutchence by Tina Hutchence and Patrician Glassop

Who Killed Kurt Cobain?: The Mysterious Death of an Icon

You Send Me: The Life and Times of Sam Cooke

Peace at Last: The After-Death Experiences of John Lennon by John Lennon

Catch a Fire : The Life of Bob Marley  by Timothy White 

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire by Joe Nick Patoski, Crawford Bill, Bill Crawford

The Final Days of Jimi Hendrix

The Lizard King: The Essential Jim Morrison

Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye

Tupac Shakur's poetry: The Rose That Grew from Concrete

The Killing of Tupac Shakur

The Murder of Biggie Smalls

LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, the Implication of Death Row Records' Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal   by Randall Sullivan

Garcia: An American Life

The Year Jerry Garcia Died a novel by Fred Beauford

Buried Alive: The Biography of Janis Joplin

Brian Jones: The Last Decadent

Liberace: An American Boy  by Darden Asbury Pyron

Bird Lives!: The High Life and Hard Times of Charlie (Yardbird) Parker

Chet Baker: His Life and Music

The Covert War Against Rock : What You Don't Know About the Deaths of Jim Morrison, Tupac Shakur, Michael Hutchence, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Phil Ochs..

Russ Columbo: The Amazing Life and Mysterious Death of a Hollywood Singing Legend

Fela: The Life & Times of an African Musical Icon

Behind the Sun : The Diary & Art of Hillel Slovak  by James Slovak, Hillel Slovak, Chris Gallipoli (Illustrator)

Short Life and Fast Times of Darby Crash and the Germs by Don Bolles, Brendan Mullen

I Was A Murder Junkie: The Last Days of GG Allin  by Evan Cohen

Death Discs by Alan Clayson




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