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Monday, 17 December, 2001, 17:09 GMT
The stars who disappeared
The Manics have had success since Edwards' disappearance
The Manics have had success since Edwards' disappearance
Former Big Country singer Stuart Adamson has been found dead after being reported missing. BBC News Online remembers other rock stars who have walked away from the spotlight.

The most high-profile rock star to disappear in recent years was Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards.

He checked himself out of the band's 1995 US tour and has not been seen since.

Edwards was the most volatile member of a band from south Wales which had burst onto the rock scene with anguished ferocity.

Richey Edwards: Fled on eve of US tour
Richey Edwards: Fled on eve of US tour
He announced himself to the rock world when he etched the words "4 Real" into his arm with a knife backstage at a 1991 gig in front of NME journalist Steve Lamacq.

The band's first top 10 hit was a cover of the theme from MASH, Suicide Is Painless, the following year.

In 1993, Edwards, who was now anorexic and alcoholic, continued to cut himself and the music became more desolate. In 1994, he was admitted to hospital with "nervous exhaustion".

By the time the band was due to leave for 1995's US tour, the band were established with a big fan base.

Edwards seemed to have recovered from his depression and he told interviewers how much he was looking to the future.

But on 1 February, he drove from a London hotel to his Cardiff flat, where he left his passport and other documents, before leaving his car near the Severn Bridge.

Despite reported sightings in Britain, India and the Canary Islands, Edwards remains missing - although the band has continued to have chart success, albeit in a slightly more stable fashion.

'Freaked out'

Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett disappeared in more ways than one in the late 1960s.

After being affected by a diet of LSD, the influential songwriter would often stand on stage with his guitar dangling from his neck, staring into the crowd.

After being unhappy about appearing on Top of the Pops, he walked out of the studio at another session recording in July 1967 after "freaking out".

Joe Strummer was hunted by a private detective
Joe Strummer was hunted by a private detective
"That really was the first sign of his complete mental breakdown, and he never did come back into the studio anymore after that, meaning that I had a hell of a hard time with the recordings," producer Richard Buskin later wrote.

But he did turn up again - on the day the rest of the band were recording Shine On You Crazy Diamond - their tribute to him - much to their surprise.

After he finally drifted out of the music scene, his whereabouts were not known for two decades - until he turned up living with his mother in Cambridge.

Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green went missing in 1970 and only resurfaced in the 1990s.

The following year, guitarist Jeremy Spencer said he was "just popping out to get some newspapers" and later turned up in the Children Of God religious cult.

Marvin Gaye: Settled in Ostend, Belgium
Marvin Gaye: Settled in Ostend, Belgium
The Clash lost Joe Strummer in the early 1980s - but he was found by a private detective in Paris and explained his disappearance saying he had "wanted a break".

Soul legend Marvin Gaye disappeared from the United States, the taxman and his record contract between 1979-82.

He owed $2m taxes, his marriage was breaking up and his mental health was in decline.

After staying in Hawaii and London, he settled in the Belgian town of Ostend before making a successful comeback.

See also:

12 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Missing rock star 'spotted'
12 Feb 99 | Brit Awards
From despair to success
23 Mar 01 | Reviews
Manics aim to break mould
29 May 01 | Music
Fleetwood Mac set for return
13 Nov 01 | Music
Strummer looks to the future
25 Oct 98 | Entertainment
Marvin Gaye's father and killer dies
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