James Honeyman-Scott

One of rock's many tragic drug-related casualties, Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott was one of the most original and versatile guitarists of the early-'80s new wave movement, making the senselessness of his 1982 death even greater. Born on November 4, 1956, in Hereford, England, Honeyman-Scott began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. Although he couldn't read music (he was entirely trained by ear), he graduated to guitar by the age of ten, soon picking up tricks by playing along to Eric Clapton and Hank Marvin records. Throughout his teenage years and his early twenties, Honeyman-Scott played with a variety of regional bands, including the band Cheeks, which included former Mott the Hoople founding member/keyboardist Verden Allen. It was during his tenure with Cheeks that Honeyman-Scott became friendly with fellow local musicians Martin Chambers (drums) and Pete Farndon (bass).