Some, if not most, of the parts of everyday life in the modern world are ordinary, simple, mundane things that we tend to take for granted. Life can become routine for everyone on every part of the social strata or wealth ladder, and that includes dealing with monotonous things like picking up the phone to make a call or picking it up when it rings, all to communicate little pieces of information or to share experiences with a loved one or business partner. Often it is only after the fact that these daily tasks are steeped in added importance and meaning. If it’s the “last” thing someone does.
John Lennon told his aunt he was going to visit her
On the night of December 7, 1980, according to The Sunday Post, Lennon called Mimi Smith, the aunt who had raised him, at her home in Liverpool, England. Smith told writer Judith Simons in 1981 that on the call, Lennon had been ‘witty, funny, bursting with excitement, coming very soon’, indicating that he planned to return to the UK for the first time in a decade, perhaps for a weather. concert tour in support of Double Fantasy.
Elvis Presley made childcare arrangements with his ex-wife
According to author and Elvis compatriot Chris Hitchens, one of the rock star’s last phone calls, made the day before his death, was to his ex-wife Priscilla. “During that call, they discussed travel arrangements for Lisa Marie,” Hitchens said (via Fast). It had been a tense conversation, but at least they were talking.
Chris Cornell’s call to his wife sounded the alarms
According to The Detroit News, the frontman went to his hotel room immediately after the show. He made a registration phone call with his wife, Vicky Cornell, and Chris, a recovering substance abuse addict, spoke in an alarmingly drawn tone. After hanging up, Vicki called Soundgarden’s bodyguard, Martin Kirsten, to conduct a wellness check on her husband. He had to break down the door to Chris’s hotel room and then the door to a suite, where he discovered the singer on the bathroom floor, unconscious and not breathing. Chris Cornell was pronounced dead at age 51 and authorities ruled the death a suicide.
Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens last conversations using a payphone
The original payphone they used that night was still there during their last concert, with a sign stating that Holly and Valens used it that night, even though the number they have dialed no longer works. There are also other dark memories, including the items they had on them when the plane crashed.
Lemmy Kilmister last phone call with Ozzy
“I knew he was dying. He didn’t even know it was me,” Ozzy explained. “I had to say to him, ‘It’s Ozzy, Lem.’ He just gurgled down the phone to me. I said, ‘Lemmy, for f*ck’s sake, stay there. I’m coming.'”
Kurt Cobain reaching out to Pat Smear
Pat Smear was called by Cobain before his death on April 5. “It was really sad,” Smear said in the Foo Fighters documentary “Back & Forth” (via Far Out). “I had a message from Kurt, but I wasn’t home, so whatever help he needed for me, I couldn’t help him, and that’s the last time that I ever talked to him or saw him.”
Jimi Hendrix jam session that didn’t happen
The day before Hendrix died he took a call from Mitch Mitchell, who invited Hendrix to join him and Sly Stone for a jam session at a club, the Speakeasy, later that night. Hendrix agreed but he never showed up, the next night he passed away.
David Bowie didn’t want to give up music
About a week before Bowie passed away, he had a phone conversation with his producer: “At that late stage, he was planning the follow-up to ‘Blackstar.’ And I was thrilled,” Visconti told Rolling Stone, “and I thought, and he thought, that he’d have a few months, at least. Obviously, if he’s excited about doing his next album, he must’ve thought he had a few more months. So the end must’ve been very rapid. I’m not privy to it. I don’t know exactly, but he must’ve taken ill very quickly after that phone call.”