The Rock Stars Who Put The Fun Into Funerals

Lemmy’s forthcoming is funeral set to be a sad but epic event. The ceremony itself will take place this Saturday (January 9) at the Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Los Angeles – where his neighbours will include Michael Jackson, Bobby Womack, J Dilla, Eddie Cochran, Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke.

The whole thing will be streamed on Motorhead’s official YouTube channel, so fans will all be able to see the legend laid the rest. “We want you all to be a part of this memorial service,” say the band. “So wherever you are, please get together and watch with fellow Motörheadbangers and friends. Go to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an internet connection and toast along with us.” One place that will definitely be streaming the service will be LA’s Rainbow Bar & Grill, Lemmy’s favourite drinking den. In fact, demand had been so high that now the venue’s tribute event will be extended down the Sunset Strip. Expect one hell of a party.


Amongst musicians, lavish funerals are far from uncommon. We’ve um, dug out, the most outrageous – proving that rock and roll isn’t just for the living.

Oderus Urungus of Gwar

Gwar’s Oderus Urungus – aka Dave Brockie – was sent off with a traditional Viking funeral at the band’s annual Gwar-B-Q. His body was strapped to a boat, which was then set on fire via a flaming arrow.

Malcolm McClaren


Sex Pistols manager and pop svengali Malcolm McClaren’s funeral saw a rowdy procession of punks storming through the streets of Camden. A double decker bus blaring out Sid Vicious’ version of My Way followed McClaren’s casket on a Victorian carriage, taking him to his final resting place in Highgate. As iconic as the man himself.

Gram Parsons

Cosmic country renegade Gram Parsons made a deal with his road manager. When he died, he wanted his body to be burned in his beloved Joshua Tree national park. Queue a bonkers heist situation that involved the kidnapping of Gram’s corpse and a makeshift cremation by a big rock in the desert, which was reported to the police by some pesky campers.

James Brown

Soul man James Brown had a huge public funeral in Georgia, hosted at – naturally – the James Brown Arena. Michael Jackson was one of many stars who paid tribute at the event, but MC Hammer stole the show with some seriously good dance moves.

Michael Jackson

Which reminds us… The public service for Michael Jackson took place in the massive Staples Centre in Los Angeles. The Grammy Awards of funerals, it featured performances from Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Usher and many, many more, all with Jackson’s coffin looming in front of the stage.

Steve Strange

Pallbearers for new romantic icon Steve Strange included Boy George and Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet. The 80s pop star’s coffin was decorated with images from his Visage days and their hit ‘Fade To Grey’ played as the procession entered the church.


Thousands upon thousands of fans attended the public viewing of Elvis’s body at his Graceland home. A courtege of 14 white Cadillacs drove the funeral party to a graveyard in Memphis the following day, but he was reburied at Graceland not long after.

Hunter S Thompson

Sure, Hunter S Thompson wasn’t actually a musician, but he was definitely a rock star. The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author’s ashes were shot into the sky with fireworks, to a soundtrack of ‘Spirit In The Sky’ and ‘Mr Tambourine Man’. The event was paid for by his close friend Johnny Depp.

You May Like