From The Houston Press:
Everyone dies eventually, even rock stars, and when they go it’s not uncommon for them to take beloved personal items with them, or to have such things placed there by grieving friends and family. That is, of course, unless they’re cremated and have their ashes snorted or smoked. For those who went the conventional burial route, here are some of the items that made it into their caskets.
Frank Sinatra: It’s not surprising that Sinatra took a flask full of Jack Daniel’s, cigarettes and a lighter with him into the ground. Frankly, it would’ve been more surprising if he hadn’t. He also took a roll of dimes. When his son was kidnapped in 1963, the abductors demanded Sinatra call from pay phones, so Sinatra always made sure to carry a supply of coins during the ordeal. Carrying a roll of dimes became a lifelong habit afterwards.
Leonard Bernstein: The man behind West Side Story and many other brilliant works of American music was full of childlike whimsy all his life. In addition to things like a conducting baton and music — Mahler’s Fifth Symphony — his children buried their father with his lucky penny and a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Bernstein never traveled without the book.
Whitney Houston: It’s hard to describe the kind of success Whitney Houston had as a pop singer, but here’s a clue. When she died earlier this year, she was buried with $500,000 worth of jewelry and designer clothes, according to the Daily Star. Fear of grave-robbing led to the posting of armed guards.
GG Allin: One of the most controversial rockers ever requested to be buried with a bottle of Jim Beam in his song “When I Die.” This request was honored when Allin overdosed on heroin in 1993.
Dimebag Darrell: Dimebag’s last words on Earth were, “Van Halen!” Moments later he was shot onstage by Nathan Gale in an attack that claimed the lives of three other people. He’d asked Eddie Van Halen for a copy of the famous yellow-and-black-striped Charvel electric guitar that appears on the inner sleeve of Van Halen II in 2004.
Van Halen agreed to make a copy, but hadn’t completed it at the time of Dimebag’s death. Instead, the original guitar itself went into Dimebag’s official Kiss Kasket as Eddie’s gift.
Michael Hutchence: When INXS singer Michael Hutchence had his funeral in 1997, it was more about taking than giving. His family and friends snipped a few locks of hair and lifted a couple of suit buttons as keepsakes. His brother left Hutchence a cigarette as an inside joke since Hutchence was always bumming smokes off him.
Paula Yates, mother of his daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, slipped him a gram of heroin. She would die of an overdose of the drug in 2000.
Bob Marley: Sigh…yes, Bob Marley was buried with weed. He also went to his reward with a Bible and a soccer ball.
Frédéric Chopin: It’s not what Chopin was buried with that’s noteworthy; it’s what he was buried without. Chopin had his sister lay his body to rest in Paris, where he died in 1849, but wanted his heart returned to their native Poland for interment in the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw. It took her more than 30 years to accomplish the task, what with the various political upheavals and civil wars in the region, but eventually his heart was safe in the church.
Britney Spears: Obviously Britney is still alive and well, but in 2006 she reportedly said that she wanted to be buried with her Chihuahua Lucky. The quote goes, “You know how the Pharaohs used to get buried with things they loved? I want to do that with Lucky. She should be laid to rest with me when the time comes.”
Ronnie Van Zant: It’s a common misconception that Van Zant and Neil Young disliked each other. The truth is they were great admirers of each other’s work and Van Zant can actually be seen wearing a Neil Young T-shirt on the cover of Street Survivors.
It’s rumored that Van Zant was buried in the shirt after the plane crash that killed him in 1977. His grave was broken into in 2000, and some think that the reason was to prove or disprove the rumor, although the casket wasn’t opened. He has since been reburied in a secret location to deter further vandalism.