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A little-known and deeply troubled Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh, shoots himself in the chest with a revolver in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, Europe. He will die, aged 37, two days later. Don McLean's 1970 song Vincent refers to several Van Gogh paintings, including The Starry Night, but the song, with lines such as "You took your life as lovers often do," is more generally inspired by Van Gogh's life, his tragic existence and his suicide.
Maggie Jones records Suicide Blues and Dangerous Blues for Columbia Records in New York City, USA.
Paul Whiteman And His Orchestra record their version of the song Gloomy Sunday, for Victor Records in the USA. Written in 1933, Gloomy Sunday would quickly acquire a reputation as The Suicide Song because many of those who sang it came to premature ends, and also because many people were said to have committed suicide while listening to it.
Suffering from depression and believing herself to be going insane, modernist novelist Virginia Woolf puts on her overcoat, fills its pockets with stones, walks into the River Ouse near her home in Rodmell, Sussex, England, UK, Europe, and drowns herself. The 2011 hit single What The Water Gave Me by Florence And The Machine is inspired by Woolf's suicide.
Billie Holiday, with Teddy Wilson And His Orchestra, records Gloomy Sunday, Love Me Or Leave Me, I Cover The Waterfront and Jim for OKeh/Columbia Records in New York City, USA. Gloomy Sunday will require an extraordinary reputation as a song which causes listeners to commit suicide.
During a round-table radio show in America, Columbia Records A+R chief, Mitch Miller blasts rock'n'roll as 'the comic books of music'. When MGM boss Arnold Maxim says he thinks rock will continue, singer Sammy Davis Jr declares 'I might commit suicide'.
Elvis Presley is in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, re-shooting the ending of Wild In The Country, because pre-release screening audiences did not like the original ending in which Hope Lange committed suicide.
Don Everly of The Everly Brothers collapses on the stage of The Prince Of Wales Theatre, London, England, UK, Europe, during rehearsals fot their imminent tour. After two suicide attempts in The Savoy Hotel, he is too drugged on amphetamines to perform. Phil Everly goes on and does the tour alone.
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Phil Everly heads the bill on a package tour at The Odeon, Leeds, UK. The show is supposed to star The Everly Brothers, but Don Everly collapsed after a suicide attempt in London's Savoy Hotel. Other acts on the bill include Frank Ifield, Ketty Lester and The Vernons Girls.
Phil Everly heads the bill on a package tour at The ABC, Kingston, UK. The show is supposed to star The Everly Brothers, butDon Everly collapsed after a suicide attempt in London's Savoy Hotel. Other acts on the bill include Frank Ifield, Ketty Lester and The Vernons Girls.
Phil Everly heads the bill on a package tour at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, Wales, UK. The show is supposed to star The Everly Brothers, but Don Everly collapsed after a suicide attempt in London's Savoy Hotel. Other acts on the bill include FrankIfield, Ketty Lester and The Vernons Girls.
Scott Walker of The Walker Brothers is found unconscious in his gas-filled London, UK, apartment. The incident is widely interpreted as an attempted suicide.
Pioneering British r'n'b bandleader Graham Bond dies aged 36 under the wheels of a Piccadilly line train at Finsbury Park station, London, UK. Most sources list Bond's death as a suicide.
Phyllis Major, the wife of Jackson Browne, commits suicide with an overdose of barbiturates in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. At least two of Browne's subsequent songs, Sleep's Dark And Silent Gate and The Shape Of A Heart, will be inspired by Major. Also, an earlier song, Ready Or Not, was written about how Browne and Major first got together after meeting in The Troubadour club in Los Angeles.
US country music star Mel Street takes his own life on the morning of his 43rd birthday. On the same day, The Clash sack their manager Bernie Rhodes, claiming he has 'mismanaged' their finances. He is replaced by former Melody Maker journalist Caroline Coon.
Sid Vicious, former bassist of The Sex Pistols, attempts suicide again in the bathroom of the Hotel Seville, Madison Avenue, New York City, USA, by slashing his wrists with a razor blade and a broken light bulb, then tries to jump out the window. He is admitted to the psychiatric ward of Bellevue Hospital.
Rock'n'roll vocalist Larry Williams, famed for hits like Bonie Moronie and Short Fat Fannie, dies, five days after being found dying of a gunshot wound in his Los Angeles, California, USA, home. Friends insist that he was the victim of an assassination by an organized crime syndicate, but a verdict of suicide is returned.
Danny Rapp, leader of 50s rock'n'roll band Danny and the Juniors, commits suicide in Parker, Arizona, USA, by shooting himself, aged 42.
In Reno, Nevada, USA, after listening to the Judas Priest album Stained Class, heavy metal fans Raymond Belknap and Jay Vance attempt suicide with a sawn-off shotgun. Belknap dies instantly. Vance survives but is horribly disfigured.
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Richard Manuel, pianist for The Band, hangs himself from a shower curtain rod in a motel room in Winter Haven, Florida, USA, after playing a show in the Cheek To Cheek lounge.
The Superior Court of Los Angeles County dismisses the case brought against Ozzy Osbourne by the parents of 19-year old John McCollum, who had shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber handgun while listening to Osbourne's song Suicide Solution. The case will, however, go to appeal.
Puerto Rican singer, trovador, and composer Ramito, often described as the king of Jíbaro music, commits suicide by shooting himself in his in-law's house, after learning that a cancer he is suffering has metastasized.
Phenomenally successful Japanese rock guitarist Hideto Matsumoto hangs himself in Tokyo, aged 33. 25,000 fans will attend his funeral, and three will commit suicide within days, believing life to be unbearable without him. He was best known under his stage name of Hide, as lead guitarist for X Japan.
Del Shannon commits suicide by shooting himself with a .22-caliber rifle at his home in Santa Clarita, California, USA, while being treated for depression with the anti-depressant drug Prozac.
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The trial of heavy metal band Judas Priest - based on allegations that subliminal messages in their 1978 LP Stained Class contributed to the deaths by suicide of fans Raymond Belknap and James Vance - comes to the end of its third week in Reno, Nevada, USA. Phyllis Vance, the mother of James, states, "They live off of young fans like my son, kids who invest all their money in bands like Judas Priest. James was my only child. He was my life. All the money in the world couldn't bring him back."
Ozzy Osbourne is cleared in an Atlanta, Georgia, USA, court of "culpably exciting" a young fan to shoot himself by listening to Ozzy's 1986 song Suicide Solution.
The United States Supreme Court upholds rulings that the first amendment protects Ozzy Osbourne against lawsuits alleging that his music encouraged suicide. This decision relates back to the lawsuit brought against Ozzy Osbourne by the parents of 19-year old John McCollum, a young man who had committed suicide after listening to Ozzy's song Suicide Solution.
Country recording star Faron Young dies, aged 64, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, having attempted suicide by shooting himself the previous day. His ashes are scattered during a ceremony at Johnny Cash's estate, while Cash is away. Unfortunately, a gust of wind blows the ashes onto Cash's car. "When I came home, I found I had Faron on my windshield", remarked Cash later. "I turned the wipers on. There he went, back and forth, back and forth, until he was all gone."
Monika Dannemann, who had been a girlfriend of both Jimi Hendrix and Uli Jon Roth of Scorpions, commits suicide at the age of 50, by inhaling carbon monoxide in her Mercedes at her home in Sussexx, England, UK, Europe. Two days earlier, Dannemann had been found guilty of contempt of court for breaching an order of the High Court of England and Wales not to repeat allegations she had previously made against another of hendrix's girlfriends, Kathy Etchingham.
Guitarist Hideto Matsumoto [aka Hide] of the group X Japan is found dead, hanging from a towel tied to a doorknob in his apartment in Tokyo, Japan, Asia. His death will be recorded by the authorities as suicide. Within days three fans will die in copycat suicides, and 50,000 people will attended his funeral at Tsukiji Hongan-ji.
Fans, estimated at around 50,000 in number, flood into central Tokyo, Japan, to attend the funeral of Hideto Matsumoto [aka Hide], guitarist of the group X Japan. The centre of the city is brought to a standstill as ambulances carry away dozens overcome by emotion and the 82-degree [28c] heat.
Just Another Suicide by Thunder is released as a single in the U.K. and Japan, Asia. The single is renamed You Wanna Know for the U.K. market as Eagle Records believe that the radio won't play a song with 'suicide' in the title. Ironically, the track picks up more airplay in Japan than it does in the U.K.
Kimberly Mathers, wife of rap star Eminem, is released from Mt. Clemens General Hospital, Michigan, where she had spent the night following a suicide attempt.
Richie Lee, vocalist with Acetone, is found dead at home in Los Angeles, California, having committed suicide aged 34.
A series of four co-ordinated suicide attacks on the USA, usually referred to as The 9/11 Attacks, take place in New York City and Washington, D.C. Terrorists from the Islamist militant group Al-Qaeda hijack four passenger jets and deliberately crash two of them, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Another plane, American Airlines Flight 77, is crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, crashes into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers attempt to take control before it can reach its intended target in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 people die in the attacks. Several songs will be written about the attacks including The Rising by Bruce Springsteen, Let's Roll by Neil Youn, Wall Street by Van Dyke Parks and This Ain't No Rag, It's A Flag by Charlie Daniels. The track 9-11-01 by Soulfly consists of one minute of silence. Several songs on Trouble Is Real, the debut LP by Johnathan Rice, are about the attacks, including City On Fire, Put Me In Your Holy War, and Salvation Day.
French musical arranger and filmscore composer Michel Bernholc commits suicide. Under the pseudonym Burundi-Steiphenson-Black, he enjoyed a UK hit in 1971 with the track Burundi Black, for which he grafted a rock arrangement over the top of a field recording of Burundi Drummers of the Ingoma tribe made in East Africa. The same rhythm was subsequently sampled for tracks by Joni Mitchell, Adam And The Ants, Bow Wow Wow, The Beastie Boys and others.
The Six Parts Seven and The Black Keys release a joint EP, The Six Parts Seven/The Black Keys, on Suicide S queeze records in the USA.
Innovative rock guitarist Robert Quine dies aged 61 in New York City, USA. Depressed by the death of his wife, Alice, he deliberately takes an overdose of heroin at his New York City apartment. Quine worked with Richard Hell, Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Tom Waits and many others.
Electronic rock pioneers Suicide play at La Ga
Pam Bricker, jazz singer and frequent collaborator with Washington DC band The Thievery Corporation, takes her own life in Maryland, USA. She had suffered for some time with clinical depression.
Gary Taylor, president and owner of Michael Jackson fanclub MJJcommunity.com, claims that up to a dozen grief-stricken Michael Jackson fans have committed suicide since the death of the superstar a few days earlier.
The remaining members of electropop trio Ou Est Le Swimming Pool arrange a festival, billed as Chazzstock, in honour of recently deceased member Charles Haddon, at Koko in Camden, London, England, UK. The Kooks, Mr Hudson, Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet, Man Like Me, Daisy Dares You, Kissy Sell Out, Tribes, Ollie Wride, and The Horrors perform at the event.
After many years of fighting alcoholism, James Freud, singer with Australian band The Models, commits suicide in his Hawthorn, Melbourne home. Freud's absence had been noted when the band was inducted into Australia's ARIA Hall Of Fame a few days earlier.
Polly Samson, wife of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, helps police to rescue a man attempting to commit suicide in freezing water near her beach-side home in Hove, East Sussex, UK. The man - who resisted being rescued - is then taken to the Royal Sussex Country Hospital, where he is arrested and sectioned.
It is reported that Disney has removed from sale t-shirts bearing an image of Mickey Mouse which closely resembled the artwork on the cover of Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures. There had been criticisms earlier in the week, not just on the grounds of plagiarism, but on the suitability of using - on a t-shirt aimed at children - an image widely associated with a band whose singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide.
Lady Gaga, currently on tour in Australia, Oceania, phones in a bid of $133,075 to buy a gown by her friend the late designer Alexander McQueen at a sale hosted by fashion collector Guinness at Christie's auction house in South Kensington, London, England, UK, Europe. Proceeds from the auction are to benefit the Isabella Blow Foundation, created in memory of the late fashion editor who committed suicide after a long battle of depression.
Rapper Capital Steez commits suicide by jumping from the roof of the Cinematic Music Group headquarters in Manhattan's Flatiron District, New York City, USA.
This Will Destroy You release the album Another Language on Suicide Squeeze Records in the UK.
The results of a University Of Sydney study into the life-spans of musicians are published in The Conversation. After studying the lives of almost 13,000 musicians in the USA, the conclusions are that their lifespans were up to 25 years shorter than the comparable US population. Accidental death rates were between five and 10 times greater. Suicide rates were between two and seven times greater; and homicide rates were up to eight times greater than the US population.
A coroner's report is issued by the Wayne County Medical Examiner on Chris Cornell, singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, who died shortly after playing a concert with Soundgarden in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The report states that Cornell committed suicide in his MGM Grand hotel room by hanging.
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