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Domestic Violence and Abuse

Bands That Were Plagued By Tragic Accidents On Tour


Concert tours are great. Many bands love going on tour, and their fans
definitely love getting to see their favorite artists up close and personal in cities all
over the world. Unfortunately, though, some tragic accidents
have happened to bands on the road. On September 27, 1986, Metallica was in Sweden
promoting their latest release, Master of Puppets. They were heading to their next tour date
when, just before 7 a.m., their driver skidded on a patch of black ice and lost control. The tour bus flipped and threw bassist Cliff
Burton through a window. What happened next is told differently by
people on the scene, but they do all agree that the bus landed on top of Burton and killed
the 24-year-old musician. There were questions as to whether the accident
could’ve been prevented, but an investigation cleared the driver of any wrongdoing. In a bizarre footnote, Burton was sleeping
on a top bunk when the accident happened, and he’d ended up there because of a single
draw from a deck of cards. He and guitarist Kirk Hammett drew cards to
choose who was going to get the pick of the bunks, and Burton won with the ace of spades. He chose the bunk that Hammett had been using,
and that choice ultimately led to his death. “I still miss Cliff, no doubt, and I’d love
to see him again at some point.” Stevie Ray Vaughan’s 136-show In Step Tour
kicked off on May 4, 1989. It ended with an epic outing featuring Eric
Clapton, but that was followed by a tragic helicopter accident that took away one of
music’s most respected guitarists. After the show at Wisconsin’s Alpine Valley
Musical Theater, a group of four helicopters were on hand to fly the performers back to
their Chicago hotel. One of the choppers had been reserved for
Vaughan, his brother Jimmie, and Jimmie’s wife Connie. Some of Clapton’s entourage was already on
board, though, so Stevie asked Jimmie and Connie if he could take the last seat. It was only the next morning that reports
started to go out that the chopper had never reached its destination, and when friends
found Vaughan’s hotel room empty, they suspected the worst. Shortly after 7 a.m., Jimmie was called and
asked to identify his brother’s body. Stevie Ray Vaughan, along with everyone else
on the chopper, had died only half a mile into the flight, when the pilot banked sharply
in the fog and collided with a ski slope. Eerily, only the day before Vaughan had shared
a disturbing dream with his bandmates in which he was a witness to his own funeral. He was only 35 when he died. The end of 2014 was a bad time for the Celtic
punk band Dropkick Murphys. On November 13, lead singer Al Barr received
word that a childhood friend had passed away. He announced to fans that he was going to
be unable to make their next scheduled show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as he would be flying
out to attend his friend’s funeral. But to add to the tragedy, the band never
made it to the airport. Instead, they announced that they were canceling
their Tulsa show after their tour bus hit and killed a pedestrian who had run into the
highway in front of them. The Boston Globe later identified the man
as a 23-year-old father of one. The band expressed their condolences and requested
that their fans keep the man’s family in their prayers. The family returned the sentiment with sympathies
to all the band members involved and to the bus driver. Black Sabbath had given Ozzy Osbourne the
boot in 1979, but by the early ’80s, things were sort of back on track. Part of the credit for that should go to guitarist
Randy, so it’s unsurprising that the “Crazy Train” singer is still haunted by the bizarre
accident that killed Rhoads in 1982. On March 19, bus driver Andrew Aycock, who
had an expired pilot’s license, hopped in a small 1955 Beechcraft Bonanza plane with
Rhoads and a woman named Rachel Youngblood. With Osbourne and the rest of his band asleep
on the tour bus, Aycock buzzed the bus a few times before losing control, hitting a tree,
and crashing into a house. Aycock, Rhoads, and Youngblood were all killed
instantly. The incident had a lasting impact on the other
band members, particularly bassist Rudy Sarzo, who parted ways with Ozzy and returned to
the band Quiet Riot after the accident. Sarzo later spoke out about how difficult
it was to go onstage without Rhoads. Because of that pain, he chose to leave a
hugely successful band so that he “could enjoy playing again.” It was Ozzy’s wife Sharon Osbourne who pushed
the band to move on. Within a week and a half, they were back on
tour with replacement guitarist Bernie Torme, but memories of Randy Rhoads continue to live
on. “I think about him a lot still. I also think where he would be in the picture
if he were still around. He was just a great guy.” Gary Numan, the musician best known for the
1979 new wave hit “Cars,” is still touring and recording new music. In 2018, he announced that he was going on
tour to support his 22nd album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World). That was in April, and in September, he canceled
a show at the Cleveland House of Blues after his tour bus was involved in a tragic accident. The bus was making a right turn when it collided
with a 91-year-old man who had been pushing a cart through a crosswalk. The man died at the scene and was given last
rites by a priest from a nearby church. Numan canceled the show and issued a statement
that read in part: “We are all utterly devastated by the fatal
accident involving our tour bus earlier today. Every one of us is filled with a sadness that
made it impossible to even consider playing our show this evening, and out of respect
it would have been entirely wrong […] At the moment all we can think about are the
people affected by this terrible tragedy, and to them we send our love.” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s iconic 1977 album Street
Survivors had hit shelves only a few days before the band members boarded their leased
30-year-old plane in spite of many misgivings. They’d already played five shows on the tour,
and it had gone well. They had plans to upgrade their old Convair
240 to a Learjet, and their 600-mile flight from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge,
Louisiana was supposed to be one of their last trips in the Convair. And it was, but not for the reasons they thought. Survivors of the accident said that nearly
everyone onboard had reservations about the trip. Those concerns were amplified by the fact
that just a few days earlier, flames had been seen spitting from one of the engines. But lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant was adamant
that they move forward, pushing everyone with these fateful words: “Hey, if the Lord wants you to die on this
plane, when it’s your time, it’s your time. Let’s go, man. We’ve got a gig to do.” The plane ran out of fuel towards the end
of the flight. The pilots attempted an emergency landing
but ended up crashing into a large tree. Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines,
and his sister, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, all lost their lives in the Mississippi swamps. Strangely, Van Zant had been convinced that
he would die before he turned 30, and he was indeed just a few months shy of his 30th birthday
when the plane went down. There’s no denying that a single decision
can change the course of an entire life, and for Reba McEntire, that decision happened
in 1991. She and her band had finished a show in San
Diego and were heading to their next gig. She decided to spend one more night along
with her husband and stylist in California, while the others went on ahead in two separate
planes. One plane arrived, but tragedy struck the
other one as it carried eight of McEntire’s close friends and bandmates. One of the plane’s wings clipped a rock protruding
from the side of Otay Mountain. No one survived the crash. Other country music superstars stepped up,
even offering to give McEntire their own backing bands so she could continue on and finish
her tour, though she declined. She continued to memorialize the crash and
remember those she lost, dedicating her next album, For My Broken Heart, to those who died
in the crash. She visited the crash site on the 25th anniversary
of the tragedy and posted a message on Facebook: “I feel in my heart that they know we still
miss them so much. My love and prayers to all the families and
friends.” “I mean, if you’ve got somebody you love,
you better tell ‘em. Because things can happen in an instant to
change your life. And do things that make you happy.” Some people are fortunate, and determined,
enough to turn a tragedy into something good, and that’s exactly what Gloria Estefan has
managed to do. In 1990, she was headed for Syracuse, New
York, when her tour bus was rear-ended. She broke her back and was told there was
a very good chance she would never walk again, much less get on stage and dance. Years later, Estefan talked frankly about
the accident on Oprah’s Next Chapter. “Those things can either tear you apart.” “Yeah, it tears most people apart.” “It does because it’s hard to handle.” Estefan gives her husband Emilio a huge amount
of credit toward aiding in her recovery, which included nine months of therapy, every day,
for seven hours a day. She was up and out of bed every 45 minutes,
not because her therapy called for it but because she was in too much pain to sleep. She came to this conclusion: “And then I thought, Maybe this was the whole
point of me becoming famous, to now go through something like this in the public eye.” Estefan has gone on to do charity work, campaigning,
and fundraising, all in hopes of furthering medical research done on spinal cord injuries
and paralysis. Trace Adkins was already at the CenturyTel
Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, in 2010 for his scheduled show when he got the news
that his tour bus had been involved in a horrific accident just north of Shreveport. The bus had collided head-on with a Ford F-250
truck. Five members of Adkins’ band who were on the
bus suffered only minor injuries. However, the two men who were in the truck
were killed. According to the official investigation, the
truck had been swerving as it approached the bus, and the bus driver was unable to avoid
it. Ultimately, the cause of the accident was
ruled to be driver fatigue. The men in the truck had been up for around
24 hours at the point of the accident and were on their way home from an all-nighter
at a nearby casino. Adkins played a “scaled-down” version of his
show following the accident, and canceled his following show in Pensacola, Florida. In 2015, metalcore band The Ghost Inside were
on their way from a gig in Texas to their next show in Phoenix when they were involved
in a catastrophic accident. They were just outside El Paso when a truck
hit their tour bus head-on. At first, details were sketchy. NME reported that the bus driver and one person
in the other vehicle had been killed, while drummer Andrew Tkaczyk had been seriously
injured. In the immediate aftermath, Andrew’s brother
Nick said that Andrew had suffered head trauma, a shoulder injury, and broken bones. It later came out that Andrew had spent 10
days in a coma and had one of his legs amputated. It wasn’t until 2018 that it was reported
that it might be possible that the group would play again. Tkaczyk had been fitted with a prosthetic
that wasn’t ideal for playing, but his father built a device that adapted his drums to his
missing leg. The Ghost Inside currently have plans to play
a single live show in July 2019, but what will happen after that is unclear. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
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Cesar Sullivan

100 thoughts on “Bands That Were Plagued By Tragic Accidents On Tour

  1. Horrible tragedies strike all too often. Fortunately some of these musicians were able to recover and move on.

  2. i like the video but saying and band is plagued with tragic accidents is misleading. a plague mean one after another just constant but that's not true. its just a tragic accidents but not a plague. a plague of accidents is spinal tap.

  3. Seriously? Not even a mention of Def Leppard?! That band has suffered some MAJOR tragedies, but they’re still kicking ass!! 🤘🤟✌️👍💋💗

  4. "The New York Dolls" was the most cursed band ever. They spawned all the shit hair metal bands in the 80s but never made money or success themselves. The incidents with there luck are way too long too list.

  5. The Fisherman's Friends, a band from Cornwall, England, also suffered a tragedy. A heavy steel door on stage fell and killed their tour manager and one of the singers. I know they're not as famous as most of these bands, but it's worth mentioning.

  6. Dickie Valentine, doubt there is a few people like 2 or 3 who haven't heard of him, died just 41, who I've been looking at recently. One of the biggest pop stars of the 1950s, died just 41, apparently with a dangerous bend, a car which belonged to his wife that was not familiar with and how about Gram Parsons and Clarence White of The Byrds. The second lineup. Clarence was killed by a car in the middle of the road. Car going 100+mph, died on impact. Gram Parsons, I think, was involved in a car crash aswell to my knowledge and after those deaths, the joke that the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is, didn't even induct them. Absolutely heartbreaking.

  7. Fuck yeah for including the ghost inside, I was so sad when that happened to them I have loved them for years but they are coming back!

  8. They bother to mention about the Ozzie incident is that the guy flying the plane as joke and kept swooping over the tour bus. Randy would probably still be with us if it wasn't for that idiot.

  9. Cliff Burton the best metal bassist of all time didn’t deserve to die he was a young soul with a great talent who honestly did the best with Metallica. He was there for all the classics and one of the most honored bassists today.

  10. What about the accident killing Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper? That was tragic as well. If you don’t know the story, it was a plane crash that killed them both instantly as they went to tour together and Holly was a late addition but they went along.

  11. Are we going to ignore Viola Beach? All 4 members + the manager died in 2016 after their car fell from a bridge in Sweden

  12. Everytime I hear,the tragedy could have been avoided,makes me think,Mettalica sacrificed Cliff for theirvsuccess

  13. Maybe most of your viewers are too young to know these tragedies, Patsy Cline died in a plane crash. She was one of the greatest female country artists of all time. The other was the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and "The Big Bopper" J. P. Richardson. Holly and Valens were two of the biggest stars of 50s rock and roll and Richardson had a classic hit with "Chantilly Lace".

  14. my dad had a close friend who was best friends with stevie ray vaughn and he asked my dad if he wanted to go to his concert and meet him after the show but my dad could not make it to the concert because he could not find someone to watch my little brother (4 years old) at the time.

    I always think that if my dad had met stevie and delayed him by a few minutes that maybe stevie would have been alive today.

  15. You missed the Queen of Country/Western. She became the first female solo artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. On March 5, 1963, Patsy Cline was on her way back from a show in Kansas City when an intense rainstorm interfered with the light aircraft she was on, piloted by her manager, Randy Hughes. Two of her band were also on the doomed flight. The plane crashed in the woods near Camden, Tennessee, approximately 90 miles outside Nashville, and killed everyone on board instantly. 😢 😪

  16. The bus cliff was on didn't crash because of black ice, the temperatures were too high to support that. The bus driver was falling asleep at the wheel and crashed the bus.

  17. the first thing that came to mind when i read the title is when on Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack tour, Brian May collapsed from pain and the entire tour had to be put off. Brian ended up having hepatitis and gangrene from a dirty needle and could have had his arm amputated.

  18. What about Led Zeppelins 77 tour of America and Robert Plants son Karac dying while he was not there? I think that's about the most tragic thing to happen to anyone.

  19. Randy Rhodes and Stevie Ray Vaughn are dearly missed in the music world! They were both excellent guitarists and I’m still saddened by their loss!! I am also saddened by the other musicians that passed away!!😪

  20. I feel like fate is fickle.
    I also feel like some people do actually have a sense of their own mortality. I do feel like people are given sort of a moment where they realize something's coming they're just not sure what or when.

  21. The band Great White was on a tour in 2003 when the Amphitheatre caught on fire killing 100 people including the guitarist and injuring another 230 people

  22. Smashing Pumpkins should have been on here. Their touring keyboardist overdosed on heroin and died and the drummer was subsequently arrested for possesion after he too overdosed in the hotel room. July of 1996.

  23. I actually met Jonathan, the singer for The Ghost Inside, at a show the year before their crash. They’ve always been one of my favorite bands, and he was such a kind and gracious person. It broke my heart to hear what happened. They show so much resilience, and I have so much faith that they will persevere in the future.

  24. Going in, I couldn't think of band related accident with a larger loss of life than the fire at the station involving the Great White show. 100 people died, 230 were injured, and it didn't even get a mention.

  25. You forgot Adrenaline Mob. Their tour bus pulled over for a blown tire and then got rear ended by another motorist, which killed their bassist.

  26. I was not attending this concert, but nine inch nails must not have the best memory of their open air show in the Green field Festival, Huge rainstorm, and careless staff members resultinging into damaging part of their instruments. I hope that their latest performance last year in Montreux Jazz, (wich offers very good conditions if not the best( they have a solid roof not only because of this lakeside location and great sandwiches) settled the score with Switzerland)next time I will be here no matter the rain, the wind, even the bad food(huge sacrifice so please comme back.

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