For a non – religious person, I actually don’t find Merry Christmas offensive, I just prefer to say Happy Holidays.
Last week I got stuck in the Wikipedia Matrix and was looking up rock stars or artists that died in an unusual way. One in particular I ran into was Philip Taylor Kramer. He played bass for San Diego-based Iron Butterfly during the mid-70s, just after Doug Ingle quit. For those who don’t know, Iron Butterfly is known for “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” which was supposed to mean In The Garden of Eden, that song was a big hit in 1968 and 1969, it was also known to be one of the first heavy metal songs.
Anyways, Iron Butterfly did brake-up briefly but reformed in 1974 without Doug Ingle and Eric Braun the guitarist took over most of the lead vocals, they did two more albums with Braun at lead with Kramer at Bass and doing some of the lead vocals. Kramer left Iron Butterfly, but was involved with other projects that included Ron Bushy.
Kramer would later go to college, and would go into business in rocket science. In early 1995, Kramer had went to LAX to pick up an associate, however in the end, he did not collect the associate. It was confirmed that he was at LAX, he made 45 minutes of phone calls to friends and family before finally calling 911 to say he was going to commit suicide. One of the calls was to Ron Bushy, the drummer of Iron Butterfly.
Four years later, his van and his remains we found on some hills by the airport. His death was ruled a suicide but the family doesn’t think that.
Unsolved Mysteries did an episode on his disappearance, but as of December 2016 it is not on YouTube. However, VH1 had a special about it (they cut to the chase and talk about Kramer’s disappearance first).
Despite the episode from Unsolved Mysteries, the official website has some info.
And there is some info about this day Kramer died along with some theories. There is also a claim that also in the 911 call, he said OJ Simpson was innocent and “they did it.” In the winter of 95, that case was top of the news. Here is a site talking about this and made in 1996, it does look 1996 like.
Not sure what to believe on this one to be honest, but before his death, he didn’t sleep well and had sleepless days. Was he delirious just before he ended his life?
Before I get to Layne Slatey, I do have to say that Iron Butterfly had quite a few people playing in that god damn band. It seems like if you in Iron Butterfly for 12 seconds, the folks of Wikipedia would add you on the list. A current member of the band is Dave Meros of Spock’s Beard. I’d imagine when Spock’s Beard isn’t doing anything, he floats to Iron Butterfly.
I would later go to Layne Staley’s page. For those of you who don’t know, he was the first singer for Alice In Chains back in the 90s. Alice In Chains now enjoy a second incarnation with William Duvall on vocals now. Sometime around AIC’s breakup in the late-90s, Staley bought a condo in Seattle and would later become a recluse from 1998 to his death in 2002.
During those four years, Staley kept away in his condo for the most part. Barely eating and often doing drugs. He would seldom get visits and would visit a bar nearby him from time-to-time. While on his recluse, he had gone down to 85 pounds and it was considered usual for Staley to rarely communicate with friends and family.
Sadly, Staley was found dead on 19 April 2002. It was later determined that he died on 5 April 2002. The family of Layne got a phone call from his bank that he hadn’t taken any money from his bank account since that day, which lead to the sad discovery. Another piece of news after Staley’s death was Mike Starr (Alice In Chains bassist for their Facelift and Dirt albums) had visited Staley the day before he died. Starr tried to pursue him to get help, but he refused, which led Starr leaving upset with Staley. This story was told by Starr on Celebrity Rehab in 2009, he later died in 2011.
So much I have learned on Wikipedia.