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Obituaries: Dickie Peterson, Brendan Mullen, Stephen Gately

October 13, 2009 11:52 AM ET

  • Blue Cheer bassist-singer Dickie Peterson died yesterday in Germany after developing an infection following surgery to treat prostate and liver cancer, Blabbermouth reports. Peterson, 61 (pictured above) was a founding member of the hard-rock trio whose debut Vincebus Eruptum remains a heavy-metal landmark.

  • Brendan Mullen, a pioneer behind the scenes of the Los Angeles punk scene, passed away from a sudden stroke Monday in L.A., Variety reports. Mullen founded legendary club the Masque in 1977, where the Germs and X performed legendary gigs; he later became a booker at Club Lingerie and co-wrote We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk. His final book was the Jane's Addiction oral history Whores, which was published in 2005.
  • Stephen Gately of Irish boy band Boyzone died unexpectedly while on vacation with his boyfriend in Majorca, ABC News reports. Gately, 33, suffered a buildup of fluid in his lungs that led to respiratory failure.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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