Many of today's musicians are the direct (musically speaking) offspring of musicians no longer among us. These musicians will always be appreciated as they gave rise to some other musicians that carried on the torch that they helped light.
The ax man behind one of the best, most famous, and longest solos ever recorded, Allen Collins was part of the legacy that is the original Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Jacksonville, Florida native joined the band in 1964 along with Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington and together they created the songs That Smell, Gimme Three Steps, Simple Man, and Skynyrd's signature song Free Bird. While he survived the famous plane crash, Collins was never able to play for the band when it reunited due to a car crash that killed his girlfriend and left him paralyzed from the waste down. Collins served as Lynyrd Skynyrd's musical director, as well as point out the dangers of drugs and alcohol, until his death of pneumonia in 1990. While the musician is gone, his spirit lingers in the new Lynyrd Skynyrd and in the song Free Bird which forever immortalized the band- and himself-in the hearts of many.
Allen Woody was a mastermind behind many songs from southern rock group Allman Brothers Band and the band Gov't Mule. Woody and friend Warren Hayes joined the reformed Allman group when it reformed in 1989. However with their side project, Gov't Mule, growing needs, both Woody and Hayes left the band to devote full time to their band. Woody left thband-and world- in 2000 as the result of a heroin overdose, but bassists Anddy Hess, Mike Gordon, and many others continued to pull the Mule along to this very day.
Steve Clark was the driving force that made Def Leppard a force to be reconded with. A guitarist who auditioned for Leppard by playing the entire song Free Bird, Clark added so much to the bands music and lyrics. When Phil Collen joined the band he and Clark became known as the Terror Twins (similar to the Toxic Twins, Joe Perry and Steve Tyler of Aerosmith.) However his alcoholism was becoming a problem for the band. He died in 1991, but he will always be remembered by people who love Def Leppard.
Considered to be one of, if not the, best guitarists ever, Chet Atkins has lent his talent to many artists as a studio musician and creates some of the finest guitar songs ever made as a artist. While with RCA he released such songs as Mr. Sandman, a tuned still hummed today. He also was in production becoming head of RCA's Nashville division. He died in 2001 at the age of seventy-three but he is still remembered as a fine producer and an even finer player
Maurice Gibb was one third of the Bee Gees, a group surpassed in sales only by The Beatles and ABBA (group wise. Of all currently active groups, AC/DC and The Rolling Stones have sold the most.) He was a multi-talented musician, able to play guitar, bass, and piano. While he died of a stomach ulcer in 2003, he will forever be remembered by listeners of songs such as Stay in the light and movies as Disco Inferno.
Unquestionably the most infamous image in alternative/grunge is Kurt Cobain. The lead singer/guitarist of Nirvana created some of the most famous guitar songs ever recorded. Nirvana's hit Smells Like Teen Spirit propelled the band into mainstream popularity, as well as gaining a following for grunge bands Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. However his drug addiction and controversial suicide has helped mare the image of himself, Nirvana, and grunge as a whole.