This is the 99th Kulczyk’s Korner, and sometimes it has been easy to write, sometimes impossible, however, without Charlie and his website, the Dead Rock Stars Club, this column wouldn’t be possible. Charlie has monitored and researched just about every musician who dies and puts them in the club. It is all a labor of love, and that is what life should be. http://thedeadrockstarsclub.com
Ever wonder if you’ll be rockin’ when you are near 70? Ian Hunter is pushing that, and his new CD “Shrunken Heads” kicks some royal ass. Hunter, who broke up Mott the Hoople right as they were attaining super stardom over 30 years ago, has been releasing records all along, most with the late Mick Ronson. I saw Ian Hunter at the Fillmore in San Francisco a couple of months ago and Hunter and company tore the roof off the joint.
The last band that I was ever in, A Western Family, has a MySpace page now. Hear the sound of young Seattle at www.myspace.com/aawesternfamily.
RIP: All the young dudes, are dying of cancer.
LITTLE SONNY WARNER Died April 12. The 76-year-old blues singer was a member of Van Walls’ backup band, The Rockets and The Four Sons. Little Sonny also worked with Big Jay McNeely, James Brown, Etta James, B.B. King, The Orioles, The Pastels and The Blues Crew.
BILL GUFFEY Died April 12. He was the keyboardist of Shooting Star.
MICHAEL BILLINGTON Died April 12. He was 22, the bassist of the Talent Show Rejects, and died of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancerous tumor with only several hundred new cases a year reported in the United States.
SHANE GOODING Died April 12. The New Jersey-based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist died of throat cancer. He was in Jack Nebraska and No Jenny No.
TOMMY DEWOLF Was found dead April 17 in Cape Girardeau, MO. The guitarist of Drivin’ Rain was 40.
ANDREW HILL Died April 20, of lung cancer, in Jersey City, NJ. The 76-year-old jazz pianist and composer had worked with Charlie Parker, Hank Mobley, Sam Rivers, Joe Chambers, Richard Davis, Eric Dolphy, Elvin Jones, Woody Shaw, Tony Williams, Miles Davis, Dinah Washington, Johnny Hartman and Dakota Staton.
SLIM ALLEN Died April 22, at 86 years old. The pianist of the Fire House 4 was born in Oshkosh, WI.
RON JOHNSON Died in a motorcycle accident in Lima, OH, April 23. He was lead singer of the pioneer metal band Salem’s Wych.
MATT SCALES Died in April of Cystic Fibrosis. He was 27, and the singer of the British band the Gaff, who had the semi-hit song “Hey Weirdo.”
BOBBY “BORIS” PICKETT, aka The Guy Lombardo of Halloween, died April 25, of Leukemia, in West Los Angeles. He was 69, and released a string of morbid rock songs including the classic "Monster Mash" (which was a graveyard smash) and “Popeye the Grave Digger.” He was a member of The Cordials and had worked with Leon Russell.
SAN FADYL Died April 26 in Zurich, Switzerland, of complications from severe asthma. He was the drummer of the Swiss rock band The Ladybug Transistor.
COLIN WINSKI Died in April in Phoenix, AZ. The 50-year-old rockabilly guitarist and singer led Colin Winski And His Helldorado Band and was a member of Ray Campi's Rockabilly Rebels.
JON CHANDLER, ANDREW GRANEY and ROHAN CHADWICK Died May 7, when the tow truck that they were riding in got slammed into by a semi in the middle of the night in southern England. They were all guitarists for the UK jam band Wonky Beak.
TOPPER PRICE Was found dead May 16, in Birmingham, AL. The 54-year-old singer and harmonica player had worked with Gregg Allman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Delbert McClinton and The Subdudes.
TRAVIS HUFFSTICKLER Died May 18, in Polk County, NC, in a single car crash. He was the singer of the metal bands Chizel Face, Behind the Veil and Subcyde.