He Said She Said: People We Wish Were Still Alive

The other day while Rocks Off was playing Beatles: Rock Band we were thinking about how we think Mark David Chapman shot the wrong dude. We're sorry but the world didn't need Wings, "Spies Like Us" and a shitty Super Bowl half-time show. We need John Lennon out in the public drunkenly mixing it up with paparazzi, banging Lily Allen during commercial breaks at an awards show, and recording albums with Jack White about his divorce from Yoko Ono. This world deserves better than Paul McCartney poncing around with that dopey smile of his, trying to overtake someone else's legacy.

This all got us to thinking about other rockers that went to soon, and how much we would have enjoyed a few more years with say, Kurt Cobain, than say Eddie Vedder. Yeah Cobain was whiny as hell, but Vedder has just never cut it for us. How awesome would it have been to see Keith Moon destroy the Toyota Center with just two sticks and that surly leer from behind the drum kit? Imagine sitting on the lawn at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and watching Freddie Mercury belt "We Will Rock You" as it echoes all over the 'burbs. Yeah we see you, Adam Lambert and that guy from Bad Company. But those are some pretty large dainty shoes to fill.

There are some artists that died just when they were supposed to. We wouldn't have wished for Johnny Cash to stick around having strokes and being miserable just to make us feel better about him still being alive. Besides, he was lost and lonely without June. We are still torn as to whether or not we would welcome an elderly Elvis Presley playing casinos and selling diabeetus medicine with Wilford Brimley, as opposed to the dead icon we have now have roaming the backstreets of America in hiding or whatever.

Tupac Shakur "died" when the time was right, before he ever got the chance to make PG-rated movies about car pools and daddy daycares with Tyler Perry. Ice Cube can't be hard now after starring in Barbershop and Are We There Yet? and both of their subsequent sequels. As the '90s grinded on Shakur would have lost his edge and gotten his own E! Channel reality show and gained the sixty pounds that the Notorious B.I.G. would have lost off his frame on his own season of Hip-Hop Celebrity Fit Club, co-starring Fat Pat.

Joe Strummer

This one still breaks our heart to this very day. At the time of the Clash frontman's death, he and bandmate Mick Jones were mulling over a full-scale reunion with bassist Paul Simonon. The thought of seeing those three on a stage together still chokes us up to think about. Strong men also cry, and if you don't get a little misty-eyed during this video you are a goddamned robot.

"Redemption Song"

Bob Marley

We have always had our qualms about the cult behind Marley, but can you imagine the colossal explosion of THC that would be a co-headlining gig with him and Willie Nelson? The very tickets to the concert would give a contact high just by holding them in your hand. No doubt by now, Brother Bob would look like our own Little Joe Washington.

Marc Bolan

Jesus, we would have dug seeing Marc Bolan and T. Rex throw down with some of the glam-rockers today that steal so much from him over thirty years after he died in a car crash. Bolan and his band have become even bigger than they were at the height of popularity in the early '70s. David Bowie had the gams, but Bolan had the balls.

Brian Jones

At the time of the Rolling Stones' instrumentalist's death he was mulling over starting a supergroup with Mitch Mitchell and some others in the wake of his expulsion from the Stones. The guy never got to exercise his full potential, especially in the realm of world music which was becoming increasingly enamored with, the dirty hippie.

Phil Lynott

A Lynott-fronted Thin Lizzy today would make us have a wet dream in the middle of the day. Their shit was white-hot and even today each of the bands records holds up surprisingly well. Lynott's voice still gives us shivers even upon our umpteenth spinning of Jailbreak.

Bon Scott

Can you imagine an elderly Bon Scott and Lemmy Kilmister together today, burning down town after town sleeping with girls a fraction of their ages? Scott would have needed to cut down on the boozing to at least survive the '80s, not to mention the blizzard of coke that blanketed the decade.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce

If you know who the Gun Club is, we congratulate you. You have obviously been reading our happy blog here for sometime. The late Pierce and his Gun Club influenced everyone from Mark Lanegan to a boatload of Pixies material.

Klaus Nomi

Here comes Rocks Off trying to be all weird and obscure, but we think a lot of kids these days could learn and be frightened by this German countertenor and noted eccentric. His outfits made Bowie salivate with envy and warped an entire generation, giving way to artists like Antony Hegarty and countless fashion misfires. Sadly, Nomi was one of the first celebrities to fall victim to the AIDS virus in 1983.

Janis Joplin

This one is a holy shame because we need a drunken and stoned grandmother figure in rock n' roll these days. Courtney Love isn't cutting it and her Twitter account is goddamned annoying as shit. At least Janis would still be out and about dating Melissa Etheridge and making catty comments on VH1 about Jim Morrison's dick.

Chris Gaines

This Australian-born rocker tragically disappeared in early 2000 and hasn't been seen since. The Babyface-inflected balladeer released only one album in late 1999 and even appeared on Saturday Night Live to promote the release. Sometime in 2001 he was officially declared deceased by authorities.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty