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A Field Guide to Graves of Famous Rock Musicians

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G. Jones is an online writer from Manila, Philippines, who loves writing about the entertainment industry.

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Each year, thousands of music fans make a vigil to their favorite musician’s grave sites. At Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, where the king of rock 'n’ roll Elvis Presley is buried, 600,000 tourists pay a visit each year. On May 3, 2016, Graceland celebrated 20 million visitors. If 20 million Elvis fans can’t be wrong, where would your destination be?

Rockers in This Article

  • Jim Morrison
  • Michael Jackson
  • Buddy Holly
  • Eddie Cochran
  • Jim Croce
  • Johnny Cash
  • Bob Marley
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Elvis Presley

JIM MORRISON

"People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend."

— Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison

If Jim Morrison was alive today, he would still be trending. No other rock music icon epitomized his music better than the so-called Lizard King. In addition to Morrison, the Doors was comprised of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robbie Krieger. Together they created a brand of psychedelic rock music that’s truly their own, with Morrison a self-styled poet.

Their very best songs like “Light My Fire,” “Roadhouse Blues,” “People Are Strange,” Hello I Love You,” “Break On Through,” and “The End” allowed them to enjoy huge popularity during the late 1960s to early '70s, and a cult following even after Morrison’s premature death in his apartment in Paris in 1971. The cause of death is still considered a mystery, although listed as heart failure and no autopsy was performed.

Morrison was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. It is also the resting place of Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Jim Morrison Facts

Birth Name

James Douglas Morrison

Born

December 8, 1943

Place of Birth

Melbourne, Florida, USA

Died

July 3, 1971

Place of Death

Paris, France

Age at Death

27

Cause of Death

Heart failure

Grave Site

Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Address: 16 Rue de Repos, 75020 Paris, France

Area: 45 ha

Founded: 1804

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM–6PM
Saturday: 8:30AM–6PM
Sunday: 9AM–6PM

Official Website: Père Lachaise Cemetery

Famous burials: Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frederic Chopin, Victor Noir, Moliere, Honore de Balzac, Marcel Proust, Yves Montand, Maria Callas, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Marceu, George Melies, Georges Bizet, Ahmet Kaya, Eugene Delacroix, Jean de La Fontaine, Guillaume Apolinaire, Isadora Duncan, Alfred de Musset, Marie Trintignant

Jim Morrison with Pam Courson

Jim Morrison with Pam Courson

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

"If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with."

— Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s destiny was written the day his father thought he was old enough, at six years, to join his brothers as “The Jackson 5.” They made several record hits: “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There.”

Young Michael easily became the main draw, and soon turned solo, and with the release of his sixth album Thriller with the hits “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and “Thriller,” he was on the road to becoming the biggest recording star in the world. He holds several records with 13 Grammy Awards, 26 AMA awards, and 13 number one singles—the most by any other male artist. With his record sales of over 350 million worldwide, the phenomenal kid from Gary, Indiana became the one and only King of Pop.

Michael Jackson died from cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009. His personal physician Conrad Murray found him in his room in Holmby Hills, CA not breathing. Attempts to revive him proved futile, Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. at the age of 50. Worldwide mourning followed his passing.

He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, in the United States, on July 7, 2009.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Michael Jackson Facts

Birth Name

Michael Joseph Jackson

Born

August 29, 1958

Place of Birth

Gary, Indiana, USA

Died

June 25, 2009

Place of Death

Los Angeles, California, USA

Age at Death

50

Cause of Death

Cardiac arrest

Grave Site

Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California

Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale

Address: 1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205, USA

Area: 300 acres

Telephone: + 1 323-254-3131

Official Website: Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Founded: 1906

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM–6PM
Saturday-Sunday: 8AM–6PM

Famous burials: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, Robert Taylor, Mary Pickford, W.C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Walt Disney, Lon Chaney, Alad Ladd, Tom Mix, Red Skelton, Robert Young, Dick Powell, Wallace Beery, Nat King Cole, Jack Carson, Joe E. Brown, L.Frank Baum, Theodore Dreiser, and many more.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
Fans mourn Michael Jackson's death

Fans mourn Michael Jackson's death

Michael Jackson's Funeral

Among the attendees at his Staples Center funeral were: Mariah Carey, Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Jermaine Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer, Queen Latifah, Reverend Al Sharpton, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordon, Brooke Shields, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

"Death is very often referred to as a good career move."

— Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly

He’s was only 22 years old when the music died. Buddy Holly would’ve gone to make more hits had he not perished in a terrible plane crash off Mason City, Iowa that also took the lives of fellow musicians Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Holly’s gift for music makes him a big what if, but even in his short career, he, together with his band The Crickets, left us some memorable hits like “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” and “That’ll Be the Day.” He is immortalized in the 1978 biopic The Buddy Holly Story directed by Steve Rash, where he is portrayed by Gary Busey.

Holly was buried in the City of Lubbock Cemetery in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Buddy Holly Facts

Birth Name

Charles Hardin Holley

Born

September 7, 1936

Place of birth

Lubbock, Texas, USA

Died

February 3, 1959

Place of Death

Clear Lake, Iowa, USA

Age at Death

22

Cause of Death

Plane crash

Grave Site

Lubbock Cemetery, Lubbok, Texas

City of Lubbock Cemetery

Address: 2011 E 31st St, Lubbock, TX 79404, USA

Phone: + 806-767-2270

Founded: 1892

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 7:30AM–8PM
Saturday & Sunday: 7:30AM–8PM

Famous burials: Dirk West, George Andrew Davis Jr., Herman C. Wallace

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
Buddy Holly statue in Lubbock

Buddy Holly statue in Lubbock

Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper

Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela) who popularized the song "La Bamba," is of Mexican descent. He was born on May 13, 1941 in Pacoima, California. He was only 17 years old during the plane crash.

The Big Bopper (born Jiles Perry Richardson Jr.) is known for the song "Chantilly Lace." Richardson was born on October 24, 1930 in Sabine Pass, Texas. He was 28 years old when he died.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

"We may stop lovin' to watch Bugs Bunny, but he can't take the place of my honey."

— Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran taught himself guitar and with a bit of swagger and style turned himself into a matinee idol—a real rock n’ roll icon. With his trademark Gretsch guitar and flashy suits, he is the early proponent of rockabilly with hits like “Summertime Blues,” “C’mon Everybody,” Twenty Flight Rock,” and “Somethin’ Else.” His rebellious attitude and good enough looks were also deemed worthy of Hollywood where he appeared in three movies. He died of injuries in a traffic accident while protecting his fiancée Sharon Sheeley on April 16, 1960.

Cochran was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Eddie Cochran Facts

Birth Name

Edward Raymond Cochran

Born

October 3, 1938

Place of Birth

Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA

Died

April 17, 1960

Place of Death

Bath, Somerset, England

Age at Death

21

Cause of Death

Car accident

Grave Site

Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California

Forest Lawn Cypress

Address: 4471 Lincoln Avenue Cypress, CA 90630 USA

Phone: + 1 888-204-313

Official Website: Forest Lawn

Founded: X

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM–6PM
Saturday & Sunday: 8AM–6PM

Famous burials: Karen Carpenter, Ken Maynard, Angel Florez

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

But there never seems to be enough time

To do the things you want to do

Once you find them

I've looked around enough to know

That you're the one I want to go

Through time with.

— Jim Croce "Time in a Bottle"

Jim Croce

You could feel a steady flow of emotion in his voice—which is soft, calm and sincere. Like his song “Time in a Bottle,” the American folk singer and songwriter’s music stands the test of time: “I Got a Name,” “Bad Bad Leroy Brown,” “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song,” “Operator,” “Photographs and Memories,” and “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.”

His unfortunate death in a plane crash (a chartered Beecher plane near Natchitoches Regional Airport in Louisiana) that could’ve been avoided, killed himself and 5 others on September 20, 1973. Croce has five albums under his name, somehow it doesn't feel enough, his songs will stay with us forever.

Croce was buried at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pennsylvania.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Jim Croce Facts

Birth Name

James Joseph Croce

Born

Januray 10, 1943

Place of Birth

South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Died

September 20, 1973

Place of Death

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Age at Death

30

Cause of Death

Plane crash

Grave Site

Haym Salomon Memorial Park, Frazer, Pennsylvania

Haym Salomon Memorial Park

Address: 200 Moores Rd, Frazer, Pennsylvania, USA

Phone: + 1 610-644-110

Official Website: Haym Salomon Memorial Park

Founded: 1883

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 7AM–7PM
Saturday & Sunday: 7AM–7PM

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

There's no way around grief and loss: you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left.

— Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny. Cash had been battling with death for most of his life. The brooding country and rock singer, dubbed “The Man in Black” for his propensity for wearing black outfits, is one of the truest icons of music, outliving everyone until the ripe old age of 71, when he finally succumbed to a longtime illness, also by depression over the passing of his great love—June Carter.

Cash has left a lasting legacy with songs “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” “Get Rhythm,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Hurt”—the cover song by Nine Inch Nails which was featured in several movies. Towards the twilight of his career, Cash had a resurgence, recording some of his best work since his heydays. There will be no one like him ever again.

Cash was buried next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Johnny Cash Facts

Birth Name

J. R. Cash

Born

February 26, 1932

Place of Birth

Kingsland, Arkansas, USA

Died

September 12, 2003

Place of Death

Nashville, Tennessee

Age at Death

71

Cause of Death

Diabetes

Grave Site

Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Hendersonville Memory Gardens

Address: 353 E Main St, Hendersonville, TN 37075, USA

Phone: + 615-824-3855

Official Website: Hendersonville Memory Gardens

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 24 hours
Saturday & Sunday: 24 hours

Famous burials: June Carter Cash, Maybelle Carter, Rosie Nix Adams, Luther Perkins, Sheb Wooley, Helen Carter, Ferlin Husky, Joe Maphis, Max D. Barnes

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

June Carter

June Carter Cash was born on June 23, 1929. She was three years older than Johnny, and they were married from 1968 until her death in 2003. They have a son, John Carter Cash who is also a musician, songwriter and producer.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

“I don’t believe in death, neither in flesh nor in spirit.”

— Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Bob Marley's music spans across the globe not just as entertainment but as a symbol of love, freedom and brotherhood in songs such as “No Woman No Cry,” “Redemption Song,” “Is This Love,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Get Up Stand Up,” and “Buffalo Soldier.”

Whether with his band the Wailers or as a solo artist, Bob Marley has put reggae to worldwide attention, listened to by everyone from all walks of life, with no barriers for age or creed. Globally recognized and sold more than 75 million records, he is the king of Reggae. On May 11, 1981, Marley died of skin cancer called melanoma which started from his toe (and his refusal to have it amputated due to religious reasons).

His remains is located in a mausoleum in his hometown of Nine Mile, Jamaica.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Bob Marley Facts

Birth Name

Robert Nesta Marley

Born

February 6, 1945

Place of Birth

Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica

Died

May 11, 1981

Place of Death

Miami, Florida, USA

Age on Death

36

Cause of Death

Cancer

Grave Site

Bob Marley Mausoleum, Nine Mile, Jamaica

Bob Marley Mausoleum, Nine Mile, Jamaica

Address: Nine Mile, St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica

Phone: + 1 877-610-6996

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM to midnight
Saturday & Sunday: 8AM to midnight

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Life's short. Anything could happen, and it usually does, so there is no point in sitting around thinking about all the ifs, ands and buts.

— Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Once in a blue moon, comes a singer with an incredible ear for music, gracious talent and stage presence. Winehouse was at a place in music that she seemed to carry on her own—a fusion of pop, R&B, and jazz, and style that was unmistakably all her own.

She won six Grammys and more for hits like “Rehab,” “Body and Soul,” “You Know I’m No Good,” and “Back to Black.” But, everything just happened too quickly, drastically all at the same time. Amy Winehouse was a supernova that exploded at the prime of her career. Karen Heller of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrapped up her career like so:

“She's only 24 with six Grammy nominations, crashing headfirst into success and despair, with a codependent husband in jail, exhibitionist parents with questionable judgement, and the paparazzi documenting her emotional and physical distress. Meanwhile, a haute designer Karl Lagerfeld appropriates her dishevelled style and eating issues to market to the elite while proclaiming her the new Bardot.”

Coming from rehab from crack and suffering from emphysema, Winehouse was holding on thinly to life. She was found dead in her apartment, apparently from imbibing too much alcohol. She was buried on July 26, 2011, at Edgwarebury Lane cemetery in north London.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Amy Winehouse Facts

Birth Name

Amy Jade Winehouse

Born

September 14, 1983

Place of Birth

Southgate, London, England

Died

July 23, 2011

Place of Death

Camden, London, England

Age at Death

27

Cause of Death

Alcohol intoxication

Grave Site

Edgwarebury Lane cemetery, North London

Edgwarebury Lane Cemetery

Address: Edgwarebury Ln, Edgware HA8 8QP, UK

Phone: + 44 20 8958 3388

Official Website: Edgwarebury Lane Cemetery

Founded: 1972

Operating Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8:30AM–3:45PM
Friday: 8:30AM–3:15PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 8:30AM–3:45PM

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

"Until we meet again, may God bless you as he has blessed me."

— Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Forty-two seems to be too early for a king to die. But Elvis Presley had already lived his life to the fullest.

Over 700 recordings, 600 million record sales worldwide, hundreds of performances, movies, books, awards—Elvis has been inducted into almost all kinds of music hall of fames. His hit singles are just too many to mention: “That’s Alright,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender,” “All Shook Up,” “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” etcetera etcetera. Elvis left a lasting legacy that cannot be equaled, he is the one and only King of Rock N’ Roll.

Elvis’ death is still the subject of much controversy. The official cause of death is heart attack sustained on August 16, 1977, in his Graceland Estate, where he is also buried.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians

Elvis Presley Facts

Birth Name

Elvis Aron Presley

Born

January 8, 1935

Place of Birth

Tupelo, Mississippi, USA

Died

August 16, 1977

Place of Death

Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Age at Death

42

Cause of Death

Heart attack

Grave Site

Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Graceland, Memphis, TN

Address: Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116, USA

Phone: + 901-332-3322

Official Website: Graceland

Founded: 1939

Area: 5 ha

Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 9:00AM–5:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM–5:00PM
Sunday: 9:00AM–4:00PM

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians
Elvis funeral motorcade

Elvis funeral motorcade

Elvis Presley's Funeral Attendees

Some of the celebrities that attended Elvis' funeral were: Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, Vernon and Minnie Mae Presley, Chet Atkins, Ann-Margret, Colonel Tom Parker, Charlie Hodges, George Hamilton, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown.

Pallbearers: Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, Lamar Fike, George Klein, Billy Smith, Gene Smith, Dr. Nichopoulous, and Vernon Presley.

a-field-guide-to-graves-of-musicians