Rockers We Lost in 2015
Sadly, each year we have to say goodbye to some truly talented people in the Rock and Metal world. As 2016 continues, we offer this salute to some of the Rock and Metal musicians we’ve lost over the last year. Here we take a look at some of Rockers We Lost in 2015, along with their contributions to the music world.
The Motorhead bass and vocal icon Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister died Dec. 28, four days after his 70th birthday. The rocker endured a short battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
Former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver vocalist Scott Weiland died Dec. 3 aboard his tour bus in Minnesota before a show with his solo band The Wildabouts. It was later determined that Weiland died of an overdose of cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol.
Former Michael Schenker Group vocalist David VanLanding perished in a car crash on Nov. 17. VanLanding was set to rejoin Schenker on the 2016 Axes and Anchors cruise.
Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor
Onetime Motorhead drummer Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor passed away Nov. 11 at the age of 61. He played on every Motorhead album through 1992 when he exited the band.
Frank Watkins, former bassist for Obituary and recent Gorgoroth bassist, died Oct. 18 at the age of 44 after a battle with cancer.
Longtime Bolt Thrower drummer Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns passed away on Sept. 14 in his sleep after the band’s rehearsal for their tour. He was 38.
Bryn Merrick, former bassist for The Damned passed away Saturday, Sept. 12 at the age of 56 after battling cancer.
After the Burial guitarist Justin Lowe announced his exit from the band in a conspiracy-filled rant in June. Soon after, it was revealed he was briefly missing and suffering from mental health issues. On July 18, he went missing again and the 32-year-old guitarist’s body was found beneath a Wisconsin bridge on July 21. Police believe Lowe died of injuries consistent with a fall.
Legendary Yes bass legend and co-founder Chris Squire passed away June 27 at the age of 67. He had been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia and had taken a hiatus from the band in May.
Sir Christopher Lee
Actor-turned-rocker Christopher Lee died June 7 from respiratory issues and heart failure at the age of 93. Lee was knighted in England, having appeared in such film franchises as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, in the James Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun. Late in life, he explored his passion as a Metal vocalist, releasing four albums and three EPs.
Ryan Shutler, drummer for the Thrash Metal outfit Lazarus A.D., passed away on May 17. Though an official cause of death was not revealed, it was suspected that the 29-year-old musician may have had a heart attack.
On May 5, bassist Craig Gruber who played with Ronnie James Dio in Elf and Rainbow, died at the age of 63 after battling prostate cancer. Gruber’s credits also include time with Gary Moore, Bible Black, Raven Lord and Zvekan.
Shawn Tyler Chavez
On April 30, former Havok lead guitarist Shawn Tyler Chavez passed away at the age of 30. A cause of death was not revealed. Havok vocalist David Sanchez penned a moving tribute, crediting Chavez for his work during the first six years of the band’s existence.
On April 6, the bands Khaotika and Wormreich were en route to a show when their van veered off the road and struck a tree in northeast Georgia. The crash killed three, including two members of Wormreich. Khaotika tragically lost their drummer, Nicholas Chrisostomo, in the incident.
Ian McKinney and Paul Truesdale
One of the more tragic events of the year occurred on April 6 when a van carrying members of the bands Wormreich and Khaotika crashed in Northeast Georgia, killing three and injuring several others. Among the deceased were Wormreich‘s guitarists – Ian McKinney and Paul Truesdale. Khaotika also lost their drummer, Nicholas Chrisostomo in the incident. The bands were en route to a show when their vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree.
Founding Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns died April 3 at the age of 64. He was involved in a single-vehicle car crash and was not wearing a seat belt when he collided with a mailbox and a tree. Burns played on such classics as “Free Bird,” “Tuesday’s Gone” and “Sweet Home Alabama” during his time with the band.
On the eve (March 30) of the new Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts album release for ‘Blaster,’ guitarist Jeremy Brown passed away. Brown had been part of Weiland’s band for the past seven years and also appeared on the singer’s ‘Happy in Galoshes’ solo set. “He is one of my best friends, a truest friend, and one of the most gifted guitar players that I’ve ever known. A true genius,” stated a devastated Weiland.
Former Death bassist Scott Clendenin died in March at the age of 47. The band’s former manager Eric Greif posted the news on March 24. While an official cause of death was not given, Greif stated that the guitarist “had some health challenges” in the last few years. Clendenin was part of the lineup that took part in the “Death to All” Chuck Schuldiner tributes in 2012 and 2013.
Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob drummer A.J. Pero died in his sleep aboard the Adrenaline Mob tour bus on March 20. It was later revealed by Dee Snider that Pero had a massive heart attack brought on by advanced heart disease. Adrenaline Mob issued a statement saying, “It has been nothing short of an honor to have shared the stage with such a beautiful soul and legend”.
Original Molly Hatchet drummer Bruce Crump died March 16 at the age of 57. The band issued a statement on Crump’s passing, calling him “a great friend and talented musician,” adding “This is a great loss to the Molly Hatchet family.” Crump played with the band between 1976 and 1983, appearing on their most successful album ‘Flirtin’ With Disaster.’ At the time of his death, he was playing with the groups White Rhino and China Sky.
Former Broken Hope drummer Ryan Stanek died suddenly on March 1 at the age of 42. The musician founded the band in 1988 and remained with the band through 1997. He appeared on their first four albums, but was not part of their 2012 reunion. Stanek’s bandmate Jeremy Wagner called Stanek “an extremely talented man” and “the best metal drummer in 100-mile radius” when they first met.