Before Ty Longley of Great White, had any rock stars died onstage?
Yes, although it’s not as great an occupational hazard for musicians as drugs or travelling in small airplanes. Among the notables to have fatal heart attacks in front of live crowds: blues legend Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, novelty artist Tiny Tim, British skinhead ska star Judge Dread, and Mark Sandman of Morphine. (Some people think soul legend Jackie Wilson died onstage after a heart attack. He actually survived for eight more years, although he spent them in a coma.) In addition, Leslie Harvey, guitarist for the Scottish soul band Stone the Crows, was electrocuted onstage in 1972. But punk rocker G.G. Allin, who spent most of his career threatening to commit suicide onstage, actually died in a New York apartment of a heroin overdose.
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)