13. Dave Alexander was fired by Iggy Pop and the Stooges prior to his untimely death
Dave Alexander was unconventional enough to quit high school early, not because he despised education but in order to win a bet. He left school less than an hour after beginning his senior year. An unabashed fan of The Beatles, he tried in vain to attract that band’s attention, though his status as a bass player ensured that the Fab Four, with Paul McCartney occupying that role, were not in need of his services. As a member of the Stooges, a band which saw more than one death decimate its original lineup, Alexander managed to alienate his bandmates through his fondness for chemical stimulation, often appearing at gigs too intoxicated to perform. By 1970 Iggy had had enough, and Alexander was fired after he appeared at the Goose Island International Music Festival too drunk to communicate with the rest of the band, let alone play his instrument.
For the rest of his short life, Alexander hung around on the fringes of the music industry, indulging his taste for alcohol and barbiturates, an all too often lethal combination. His musical abilities faded as his drug use expanded, and though Iggy and the Stooges (themselves no strangers to intoxicants) disbanded and reformed several times, Alexander’s services were not solicited. By 1975 he was suffering from several alcohol related health issues, including an infection of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. While hospitalized for the condition his lungs filled with fluid, leading to his death at 27 of what was called pulmonary edema. His death was attributed to drinking by friends, who were unable to encourage him to address the issue in life.