Anniversary of Marvin Gaye's Murder

04/01/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1984, Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father at his parents' home in Los Angeles. Gibson takes a look back: The '80s had not been kind on '60s and '70s soul superstar Marvin Gaye. In 1980, he left America for Belgium, owing some $8 million in back taxes to the IRS. Some concerts were arranged to help pay off the massive debts and then, with the money he received for leaving RCA and signing with CBS, he reduced the debt somewhat, but his life was still in turmoil. Fighting mental and drug problems in Europe, Gaye was one day told by a friend that he needed some sexual healing. It was comeback time.

"Sexual Healing" turned into Gaye's ­biggest-selling single ever. It also signaled his return to America. But by 1984, the demons were back. Despite the return to musical glory, Gaye still owed too much money and the mental health and drug addiction issues were far from healed. Friendships and relationships were in tatters and Gaye was becoming increasingly paranoid. He told his friends that he feared killers were following him and scored himself a bulletproof vest.

After the Sexual Healing tour finished, Gaye opted to stay at his parents' house in Los Angeles. Problem was, Marvin and his father had along history of antagonism dating back to Marvin's childhood. Doped up, Gaye had taken to carrying a gun in his bathrobe pocket, and his growing paranoia had seen him give his father a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson. more on this story

Gibson.com is an official news provider for the Day in Rock.

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