September 3, 1970

Sept3On this day in 1970, Canned Heat’s Alan “Bling Owl” Wilson was found dead of an apparent suicide.

Wilson was a founding member of Canned Heat, and a songwriter who penned the classics ‘Going Up The Country’ and ‘On The Road Again’. He played both guitar and harmonica.

Wilson had suffered from depression and, by many accounts, had twice attempted suicide just prior to his actual demise.

Canned Heat’s frontman Bob Hite found Wilson’s body on a hillside in his Topanga Canyon backyard. Wilson was a lover of nature and apparently took to sleeping outside more often than not, so it was not unusual for Wilson to be in a location of this kind.

In my research, I have found three different causes of death, but no official death or autopsy report. The most prominent cause is that his death was due to a barbiturate overdose; second, that it was an accidental overdose and the final account being that Wilson had no drugs in his system and that he had tripped, hit his head and died of pneumonia.

Wilson was 27 years old.

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