(Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images)

What makes September 15 a cursed day in rock? For starters, the death of three big-name rock stars. But there’s more to it.


Throughout the calendar, there are Very Important Days In Rock History. I spotlight them regularly with my Today in Boston ROCK feature. As a matter of fact, we’ve had a pair of big days in just the last two weeks. September 12 saw the anniversary of three major rock releases, as did August 25. And while were on the subject, July 27 might just be the biggest of all Very Important Days In Rock History. We give you 14 reasons why right here.


But what about the other side of the coin? What about the days where we’re not celebrating the birthdays of beloved rockers, or anniversaries of our favorite albums? What about the dark days? That’s what September 15 is. It’s cursed! Over a 15-year span, the rock pantheon lost not one, not two, but three huge names. And the last of those crushing rock deaths occurred only three years ago. If I were a rocker by profession, I’d be staying in, locking my doors, and having someone test my food before taking a bite myself every time the 15th of September popped up on my calendar.


September 15: A Cursed Day in Rock

So who exactly makes up this trio of doomed souls? Scroll down to find out. But, as I mentioned earlier, there’s more to the 15th of September. I dug a little deeper and found a few “rock stars of the screen” that also met their demise on this cursed day. So you’ll get to meet them, too. And let all of this serve as a warning of sorts: if you aspire to any level of fame, do not, under any circumstances, leave your home on the 15th day of September.

  • 2004

    September 15, 2004: Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone dies in his L.A. home after a protracted battle with prostate cancer. He was 55. Here he is in better days absolutely ripping his way through a cover of “California Sun.”

  • 2008

    September 15, 2008: Richard Wright, co-founder of Pink Floyd, dies of lung cancer at the age of 65. Here’s his final performance of “Echoes” with the band, from 2006.

  • 2019

    September 15, 2019: Ric Ocasek of The Cars passes away of natural causes at the age of 75. I wrote about this one.

    Everybody Loved Ric Ocasek and So Did I
  • 1980

    September 15, 1980: Jazz pianist Bill Evans dies at the age of 51. Yeah, I know. He’s a jazz guy. But he played piano on the greatest-selling jazz record of all-time–Miles DavisKind of Blue–and that counts for something.

  • 2017

    September 15, 2017: Iconic actor Harry Dean Stanton passes away at the age of 91. He was so good in so many films–Escape From New York, Paris Texas, Alien, Repo Man–but I loved him most as Carl Rodd in Twin Peaks.

  • 2011

    September 15, 2011: Actress Frances Bay passes away at the age of 91. Hey, what the hell, she was in Twin Peaks, too.


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