Spade Cooley was one of the Postwar America’s biggest celebrities and most talented musicians. He was also a violent, drunk and homicidal psychopath who had no heart. Mean, jealous, abusive and almost totally driven by the deep seeded insecurity that he wasn’t good enough for any of the women who flocked to see him in concert, on television and on the movie screen, Spade Cooley couldn’t bare the thought of his wife with another man so he he did the unthinkable and what followed was at the time, the trial of the century.
Rick James: Superfreak, an Understatement
Rick James may have been born into a life of crime but he was determined to make his way in life through music. He intimidated George Clinton, inspired Prince and more than likely saved Jim Morrison’s life. Rick James was rock ‘n roll’s Zelig. He was also sex-crazed, dangerous and heavily addicted to crack cocaine. Three traits that led to two separate arrests for the kidnapping and torture of two different women. Listen to this episode of Disgraceland to hear the tale of the one and only Superfreak, Rick James.
Big Lurch: Hip Hop Cannibal
Big Lurch, didn’t just rap about standard hip-hop culture; he rapped about serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and horror movie villains like Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger and in the process contributed to a sub-genre of hip-hop called, “horrorcore”. He also smoked way too much PCP. So much so that he could not separate his horrorcore lyrics and the horror movies he watched from reality. The result? Unspeakable. Not just murder. Cannibalism.
Keith Moon: Rockstar Excess and a Dead Chauffeur
Keith Moon of the Who was the prototype for rock drummers. Both onstage and off. His drumming was wholly unique. Like his bandmates behavior, it was violent and like his personality it was electric. Everyone loved Keith Moon aka “Moon The Loon” and it seemed that people never tired of his always hilarious and sometimes violent, drunken hijinks until one fateful night when a crew of British skinheads took issue with the drummer’s rockstar excess. The results were disastrous.
Marvin Gaye: Father, Father There’s Too Many of Us Dying
Marvin Gaye was born into a God-fearing home to a sweet, wholesome mother and crossdressing, philandering, pentecostal preacher who ruled his children with an iron fist. Despite his tense upbringing, Marvin Gaye found his calling - music - and used it as his ticket out of his repressive home life. He chased away his shame and followed his muse to the top of the charts; through a sea of cocaine and sex, becoming one of the biggest and most gifted entertainers of all time before sinking into addiction and depression and ultimately winding up back at home with his parents. A move that would prove to be more devastating than any of his volatile sexual relationships and more deadly than any drug he’d ever taken.