Richard Manuel: Age 42 | Cause Of Death: SUICIDE

Richard Manuel

The Band

(b. 3 April 1943, Stratford, Canada, d. 7 March 1986; piano/drums/vocals)

A  tour ended in tragedy when, on 7 March 1986, Richard Manuel hanged himself in a motel room. His death inspired Fallen Angel on Robertson’s outstanding ‘comeback’ album, but despite the presence of Hudson and Danko elsewhere on the record, the guitarist refused to join his colleagues when they regrouped again in 1991. Their first studio album in 17 years was released in 1993.
NEW = An as yet unsubstantiated rumor claims that “Manuel apparently had been threatening suicide for quite some time. Robertson’s exit from The Band left them all down, Manuel was depressed the worst. He was also living with a woman for some time. His ‘suicide attempts’ were viewed by all as cries for help, nothing more. This went on for a long period of time. He would threaten to hang himself, only to be stopped right before he did so by his loving girlfriend. Unbeknownst to him, his live-in girlfriend was having an affair. As the story goes, the final time he threatened suicide, she simply didn’t stop him, but rather watched him do it, then left (I have no idea whether she was seen leaving). When she returned, it was as though she discovered the body. There was suspicion but no charges were ever filed.”