The story goes that when they discovered Johnny Thunders the morning after he overdosed on a combination of cocaine and methadone, he was found clutching his guitar in full rigor mortis. The truth of the matter is that he was found dead in his room, partially under the dresser in Room 37 of the St. Peter Guest House in New Orleans in the fetal position. Singer Willy DeVille, who lived next door to the hotel in which Thunders died, described his death this way:
It was a tragic end, and I mean, he went out in a blaze of glory, ha ha ha, so I thought I might as well make it look real good, you know, out of respect, so I just told everybody that when Johnny died he was laying down on the floor with his guitar in his hands. I made that up. When he came out of the St. Peter Guest House, rigor mortis had set in to such an extent that his body was in a U shape. When you’re laying on the floor in a fetal position, doubled over – well, when the body bag came out, it was in a U. It was pretty awful.
By the way, roadies for the New York Dolls nickname for Johnny Thunders was “Johnny Blunders” as his enthusiasm outpaced his ability to play guitar and made so many mistakes when playing live.
Final Resting Place:
Mount St. Mary's Cemetery
172-00 Booth Memorial Avenue
Flushing, New York, 11365
Grave Location:Division 9, Row R, Grave 78
Grave Location Description
Johnny Thunder’s is buried under his family name of Nicoletti in Division 9 near the entrance, third section on the left from the main entrance.
Drummer and bandmate Jerry Nolan is buried nearby in Division 24, Row A, Grave 89.
Grave Location GPS40.73992170835, -73.7983100002
Read More About Johnny Thunders:
- Wikipedia Entry
- The Mysterious Death of Johnny Thunders
- Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers
- Johnny Thunders In... Cold Blood
- So Alone: The Johnny Thunders Story
- Johnny Thunders Died With Only $4,000 To His Name
- Remembering Johnny Thunders Through Those Who Knew Him
- In Memoriam: Johnny Thunders
- Johnny Thunders Fan Site