Ricky Wilson: Age 32 | Cause Of Death: AIDS
(b. 19 March 1953, Athens, GA d. 13 October 1985)
The lyrically bizarre Rock Lobster was originally a private pressing of 2,000 copies and came to the notice of the perceptive Chris Blackwell, who signed them to Island Records in the UK. Rock Lobster became a belated US hit in 1980 and they received John Lennon’s seal of approval that year as his favourite band. Their subsequent albums continued to make the group hard to categorize, and consequently they remained a popular cult band. Their music is: polyrhythmic Captain Beefheart meeting ’50s’ rock with punkish energy. Ricky Wilson died of AIDS in 1986 (although it was initially claimed that cancer was the cause, to save his family from intrusion).