They say that you’ve gotta live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse. But when you think about it, Kurt Cobain blew his head off, Elvis was found slumped over a toilet bowl, Jim Morrison died in his bath tub and Mama Cass choked on a sandwich.
So, surely the best way to protect your rock star image would be to die in a horrible plane or car crash, be burnt to a crisp beyond all recognition or do the Jeff Buckley thing and go for a swim and never come back.
It just helps to sell the legend.
Mental images of you with slobber, snot, and other bodily nasties coming out of your body is not good. Seeing you with needles and other drugs around you is not.
As recorded in the “The World Almanac and Book of Facts”, 1997, p.973. The average age of death of a rock star is around 36.9 years of age, while the average Joe Bloggs lives around the age of 75.8 years.
The most common causes of rock star deaths can be calculated by the following:
SUMMARY OF CAUSES OF DEATH
Heart Attack 42
Drug Overdose 40
Misc. Medical 37
Auto/Cycle Crash 35
Airplane Crash 22
Brain Tumor 04
Total Deaths 321
Then there’s the whole legacy issue. It’s common knowledge that at the time of Elvis’ death he was almost broke. All those hamburgers, uppers and downers were keeping his pocket empty. Yet, after his death he became a very rich person. The problem is: he’s not around to enjoy it. He has made more money now than he ever did alive.
The same goes when Hollywood makes a movie out of your life. They usually get it all wrong but the best way to make for an enjoyable film and ensure your kids get paid in the process is to make it your mission as a rock and rolling parent to live a very turbulent, fast paced, drama filled life so that Hollywood can make a decent story out of it.
Think about it: TV sales, Entertainment Tonight cover stories, interviews, “Best Of” TV specials, posters, biographies and tell all books from strangers, movie soundtracks, re-issues of your past catalogue. Your kids and lawyers are gonna make millions. All the while, you are in the ground rotting.
The question you have to ask yourself, old great rock star to be, is if you want to perhaps live fast, die slightly older so that you can enjoy the money and still try to leave a relatively good looking corpse. If not, either spend some of that money on plastic surgery, live your life like the walking dead ala Keith Richards, or fake your own death and get the best of both worlds. I know I did.