Thursday, 27th February 2020
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29 Years Ago DEF LEPPARD's STEVE CLARK (Details Of Death Revealed)

Def Leppard 1988. Steve Clark 1987

Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark died in January 1991 and on this day 29 years ago the coroner's report into his death was released.

Steve had died on 8th January 1991 after a night of heavy drinking.

He had been found in the early hours of the morning by his then girlfriend and was pronounced dead.

The exact cause of death was not initially known and the results of the autopsy were not published until 27th February after a long delay. This had been due to the timing of Steve's death and bad weather in the UK.

The funeral took place in Sheffield on 17th January 1991 and was attended by all band members except Phil.

The Westminster Coroner's Court published the details of Steve's death.

The then Rock Squad fan club commented on the report which can be read along with an article from Rolling Stone.

This was written by David Fricke who was the writer for the 1987 'Animal Instinct' biography.

Watch a short news video about this day below.

Steve Clark Death - Fan Club (Coroner's Report) Extract

"This morning, 27th February 1991, Westminster Coroner's Court, after hearing evidence from a number of witnesses, formally recorded that the cause of Steve's death was respiratory failure due to a compression of the Brain stem, resulting from excess quantities of alcohol mixed with anti-depressants and pain killers."

"The Coroner found NO EVIDENCE AT ALL of any suicidal intention or of any cause of death other than the accident detailed above. It is therefore recorded as the NON DEPENDANT abuse of drugs and alcohol."

Steve Clark.

Steve Clark Autopsy - Rolling Stone 1991 Article By David Fricke

Alcohol, drugs cited in Leppard guitarist's death

Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark died of a fatal mixture of alcohol and drugs, according to the coroner's report released in London on February 27th. The report said Clark died of respiratory failure due to a compression of the brain stem resulting from excess quantities of alcohol mixed with antidepressants and painkillers.

The Westminster Coroner's Court issued a verdict of accidental death caused by non-dependent abuse of drugs and alcohol, with no evidence of suicidal intent. The thirty-year-old guitarist was found dead in his London home on January 8th.

According to the report, Clark fell asleep on a sofa after drinking heavily in a local pub with a friend. The coroner disclosed that the alcohol level in Clark's blood was three times the British legal limit for driving. Clark had battled alcoholism for several years and had undergone clinical treatment during the past year and a half.

The autopsy revealed traces of Valium and morphine along with a fatal quantity of codeine. Clark had been taking painkillers as a result of a back injury. Although some British newspapers reported that traces of heroin had been found as well, the coroner found no evidence of the drug.

The members of Def Leppard made no public comment on the coroner's report. They have resumed work on their follow-up album to 1987's Hysteria, with Leppard guitarist Phil Collen playing all of the guitar parts.

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