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Michael Clarke
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    (June 3, 1946-December 19, 1993)
    Born in Spokane, Washington
    Birth name was Michael James Dick
    Drummer for the Byrds (1964-67), the Flying Burrito Brothers (1969-72), and Firefall (1974-80)
    At age 17, he ran away from home and hitchhiked to California to become a musician.
    He was hired for the Byrds for his resemblance to Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones rather than his musical talent.
    When he joined the Byrds, he did not own a drum set and practiced by playing on cardboard boxes.
    He drank two liters of vodka a day at his peak and died of liver failure.
    He was noticeably drunk at the ceremony for the Byrds' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1991).
    Two of his ex-wives got into a bitter dispute over custody of his ashes (which were eventually divided in two to settle it).
    As a member of Firefall, he was the second-most successful ex-Byrd commercially, after David Crosby.
    Crosby, Roger McGuinn, and Chris Hillman were unsuccessful in seeking an injunction to stop him from using the Byrds name while touring (1989).
    Following a wish he expressed in his last days, his girlfriend established a foundation in his name, the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Kids, to warn children about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Credit: C. Fishel

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