This blog post was updated on December 8, 2016.
What would our lives be without the legends who wrote or performed some of the greatest songs ever? There would be no insightful examination of raw emotions, no righteous anger against social injustices, and no great tunes to lift us up in the darkest of times.
Unfortunately, rock n’ roll doesn’t take any prisoners. It’s all or nothing – you give your life, your soul, your spirit, and fanatically embrace a lifestyle that flips a rebellious finger to the man. But sometimes, sadly, the dark excesses of that lifestyle demands even more …
In honor of these rock giants that made life more beautiful and bearable, we’ve put together a small list of places you can still visit to pay your respects.
A husky-voiced banshee who’s Southern Comfort-drenched voice could peel the paint off walls but also make your heart sputter, Joplin worked hard and played hard. After breaking on to the scene at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 with the Big Brother and the Holding Company, she went on to have a successful solo stint with various backing bands, as well as headlining at 1969’s Woodstock Festival. Her life was however plagued with addictions, notably to heroin, which eventually would prove fatal.
Watch her soulful performance of “Ball and Chain” …
On October 4, 1970 Joplin overdosed on heroin at Room #105 at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood, California. She was 27 years old.
“Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got” – Janis Joplin
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT … anywhere your toes touch the Pacific Ocean – she was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the waters along Stinson Beach, California.
Cited as one of the greatest instrumentalists of all time and one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Hendrix was born in Seattle and paid his dues on the Chitlin Circuit, touring and backing up various artists on the road. In 1966, he moved to London, where he broke through with stellar performances at the Monterey Pop Festival in ’67. He also headlined at the ’69 Woodstock. Over a career that spanned just a short 4 years, he churned out numerous rock classics and pioneered amazing sonic adventures on the electric guitar. He still remains a guitar God, and set the template for electric guitar players from now through eternity.
Watch Hendrix’s fiery performance … literally …
On September 18, 1970 Hendrix died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates at a friend’s apartment in Kensington, London. He was 27 years old.
“It’s funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead you are made for life. You have to die before they think you are worth anything” – Jimi Hendrix
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT … the Greenwood Memorial Park and Cemetery in Renton, Washington, where you can see Hendrix’s memorial (a 30-foot granite dome) at his gravesite.
The “Lizard King” iconized the leather-clad rock rebel, and as the frontman of The Doors penned some of the most lyrically insightful tunes of the sixties. Morrison, however, had a penchant for getting in trouble – both with the law and in wrestling his inner demons of drug and alcohol abuse. His poetic lyrics and well-documented excesses have become part of rock legend, inspiring new artists and contributing to the expansion of musical boundaries.
Watch all the mayhem and energy of Morrison and The Doors …
On July 3, 1971 Morrison is reported to have died of heart failure caused by a heroin overdose in the bathtub of his Paris apartment at 17–19 rue Beautreillis, 4th arrondissement. However, as no autopsy was ever conducted, there is still much debate over what really happened. He was 27 years old.
“I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown” – Jim Morrison
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT … his grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, which is one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions.
A “working class hero” and part of arguably one of the most important bands of all time, Lennon’s songs on life and struggles of living have inspired so many songwriters, and his works both with The Beatles and as a solo artist have stood the test of time. Lennon went from a lad from Liverpool to being a counter-culture inspiration whose main message was political activism, world peace, and love. His songs still strike a chord with people all over the world.
Watch Lennon’s timeless anthem for peace …
On December 8, 1980 Lennon was shot and killed (by Mark David Chapman) outside The Dakota apartment building (1 West 72nd Street) in New York City. He was 40 years old.
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it” – John Lennon
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT … New York‘s Strawberry Fields memorial (located at Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across The Dakota apartment where he used to live) in Central Park. The focal point for tributes and flowers from fans is a circular mosaic of stones, containing the single word “Imagine”, the title of Lennon’s famous song.
Grunge’s poet laureate had a troubled past with addiction, only made worse by the underground status of Nirvana blowing up into mainstream fame and fortune. The band’s grunge anthems like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Come As You Are” collectively stood as the voice of an angst-filled generation in the early 90s, and are timeless. Sadly, Cobain’s addiction spiraled out of control and resulted in a tragic suicide.
Watch Cobain and Nirvana in one of their powerful performances in the early years …
On April 5, 1994 Cobain died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at his home at 171 Lake Washington Boulevard East in Seattle, Washington. His body was discovered 3 days later on April 8. He was 27 years old.
“It’s better to burn out than fade away” – Kurt Cobain (Originally a Neil Young lyric, but used by Cobain in his suicide note)
PAY YOUR RESPECTS AT … the McLane Creek in Olympia, Washington, into which his ashes were scattered.
Have you visited any final resting places of any rock legends? Tell us about it in the comments below.