Here Are The Rock Icons We Lost In 2019
The end of the year is a bittersweet event. The new year presents a new beginning, and the culmination of a period in people’s lives allows them to say goodbye to everything, good or bad, that they’ve had to deal with over the last 365 days. Once that’s done, we can encapsulate that period within a mood or piece of our lives’ overall plot. Now that we’re no longer in it, we can decide what 2019 was, whether that was the best year ever or a year we want to set afloat on a Viking ship and fire flaming arrows at.
But part of looking back with open eyes means acknowledging the sadder moments of the past year, and remembering those who won’t make it to the next one. While it might be nice to have 2019 in the rearview mirror, it’s also crucial to remember the people we lost this go around the sun. That way, we don’t lose sight of when their lives ended, and became both monuments to what we believe in and reminders of where we’re going.
Here are the icons within rock music that we lost this year, listed here so that we can take a moment to remember each one’s talent, influence, and legacy. We wish all their friends, family, loved ones and collaborators a happy new year, and send our hearts out to them.
Lorna Doom (Germs)
Lorna Doom, bassist for seminal punk rock act the Germs, died on January 16 at the age 0f 61, after a battle with cancer.
Bruce Corbitt (Rigor Mortis, Warbeast)
Rigor Mortis and Warbeast vocalist Bruce Corbitt lost a battle with esophageal cancer on January 25, at the age of 55.
The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint died on March 4, in what was declared a suicide. He was 49 years old.
Surf rock legend and early electric guitar pioneer Dick Dale passed away on March 16 at the age of 81, after dealing with several health problems including kidney stones and rectal cancer.
Bernie Tormé (Ozzy Osbourne, Gillan)
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan guitarist Bernie Tormé died on March 17 from a virulent case of pneumonia. He was 66 years old.
Veteran tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle, whose work paved the way for the modern tattoo industry, died March 26. He was 87 years old.
Paul Raymond (UFO)
UFO guitarist and keyboardist Paul Raymond died on April 13 of this year after suffering a heart attack. He was 73 years old.
Eric Moore (The Godz)
Singer and bass player Eric Moore, who fronted biker rock legends The Godz, died on May 17. He was 67 years old.
Artist Larry Carroll, whose painting adorned the covers of Slayer’s three most famous albums, passed away on May 21. He was 65 years old.
Dark psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson, best known for his work with The 13th Floor Elevators and Roky Erickson & The Aliens, passed away on May 31, at 71 years old.
Ralph Santolla (Obituary, Deicide)
After slipping into a coma following a heart attack, former Death, Deicide, Obituary, and Iced Earth guitarist Ralph Santolla was taken off of life support on June 7. He was 51.
Grant Hart (Hüsker Dü)
On September 13, Grant Hart, founding drummer and songwriter for influential hard rock outfit Hüsker Dü, died on September 13, 2019, at the age of 56.
Ric Ocasek (The Cars)
Ric Ocasek, frontman for early punk rocker influencers The Cars, passed away from cardiovascular disease on September 15 at the age of 75.
Larry Wallis (Motörhead)
Original Motörhead guitarist Larry Wallis passed away on September 19 at the age of 70.
Sid Haig, the veteran character actor best known as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s House Of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, died on September 21, at age 80.
Kim Shattuck (The Muffs)
Frontwoman for The Muffs and pop-punk pioneer Kim Shattuck died on October 2 at the age of 56, after battling ALS for two years.
Drum legend Ginger Baker, best known for his work in Cream, passed away on October 6 at the age of 80.
Timi Hansen (Mercyful Fate)
Timi “Grabber” Hansen, bassist of early black metal act Mercyful Fate, lost a battle with cancer on November 4, at 61 years old.
Metal- and punk-influenced hip-hop star Juice WRLD died on December 8 after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway airport. He was 21 years old.
Elijah Nelson (Black Breath)
Elijah Nelson, bassist for Seattle melodic powerviolence crew Black Breath, died this past weekend. He was 40 years old.
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