October 31, 1993

On this day in 1993, actor and musician River Jude Phoenix died from a drug overdose outside of the Viper Room in Hollywood, CA.

Phoenix had been sober for some time prior to this Halloween night. Upset over being turned down to play on stage with his friends, he shot up a speed ball and went into seizures before dying of heart failure on the sidewalk.

Phoenix was the lead singer and guitarist for the alternative group Aleka’s Attic. The band started in 1988 and were signed to Island Records, though they never released an album. A record was in store to be released under the possible titles Never Odd Or Even and Zero, but were postponed due to Phoenix’s death.

In 1997, Phoenix’s friend Michael Stipe of R.E.M. bought the rights to all of Aleka’s Attic’s material from Island Records.


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