Tragic 80s Musician?
September 29, 2008 1:42 PM   Subscribe

A friend and I are trying to remember the name of an '80s musician whose career was cut short when he mysteriously disappeared / met with foul play while traveling in Europe.

Wrong guesses so far include "the guy from the Vapors" (Wikipedia says he is still alive) and "the guy from Manic Street Preachers".
posted by JoanArkham to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys/Lords of the New Church was hit by a taxi in Paris, 1990.

Mark Sandman of Treat Her Right/Morphine died from a heart attack in Italy 1999.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:53 PM on September 29, 2008

You're not thinking of Falco, the gang bangin' thug who never saw it comin', are you? He was European, but he ran into a bus in the Dominican Republic.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 1:55 PM on September 29, 2008

Not the 80's and not Europe. Maybe?
posted by D_I at 1:55 PM on September 29, 2008

The guy from Manic Street Preachers was the first I thought of, but if that's not the guy you're looking for you could try digging through wikipedia's categories of disappeared people, possibly living people and unexplained disappearances. The List of people who have disappeared doesn't seem to help much here.
posted by bjrn at 2:01 PM on September 29, 2008

Sorry, just got a few more details. It was a young musician, at the start of what should have been a promising career, traveling in Europe (something like a Europass train/backpacking trip perhaps), just up and vanished, presumed to have met with foul play.

The Phillip Taylor Kramer thing is not it Weird.
posted by JoanArkham at 2:16 PM on September 29, 2008

I'm thinking that maybe you saw Eddie & The Cruisers and in trying to block out the rest of the 80s you forgot it was a movie?

There were a few hits from the soundtrack in 1984/85 that have also since been forgotten but had gobs of airplay at the time.
posted by quarterframer at 2:26 PM on September 29, 2008

The most promising person I can think of that met an untimely death in Europe in the 80's was Ian Curtis of Joy Division, who committed suicide the night before they were to start their first American tour. There were lots of rumors about his death, and maybe you heard one of them. The remaining members of the band formed New Order.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 2:44 PM on September 29, 2008

Bon Scott?
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:58 PM on September 29, 2008

Richey James of MSP disappeared while backpacking in 1995. Otherwise, most tragic 80's post-punk musical death IS Ian Curtis.
posted by Medieval Maven at 2:59 PM on September 29, 2008

It's weird - I thought of Falco as well. He died in a car accident in '98.
posted by O9scar at 3:56 PM on September 29, 2008

Thanks everyone. I'm beginning to think we must be thinking of something fictitious. It's weird that my friend and I both remember the same (vague) details, but we might be confusing stories.
posted by JoanArkham at 4:37 PM on September 29, 2008

Could be Mic Christopher? Except he died in 2001.
posted by robotot at 5:02 PM on September 29, 2008

Chet Baker died under sketchy circumstances in Europe in the 80s, but you could hardly say that his career was cut short.
posted by pullayup at 6:07 PM on September 29, 2008

Sounds like the opposite of the mystery piano player who popped up in Britain in 2005.
posted by intermod at 7:24 PM on September 29, 2008

Richey James of the MSP did not disappear whilst backpacking unless backpacking includes driving from your home, parking your car near the Severn Bridge between England and Wales, and never being seen again.

Ian Curtis died in his own kitchen so that's not really traveling around Europe either.

As to who your guy might be, well I read NME and Melody Maker every week for most of the 80's and early 90's and the story rings no bells. Maybe just some fiction you remember or a nice urban legend?
posted by merocet at 10:48 PM on September 29, 2008

You're not thinking about Dougie Palompo from The Flying Medallions, are you? Hed died from head injuries from a tour bus crash which happened when they were touring Europe.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:37 AM on October 2, 2008

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