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Sunday, October 29, 2017

(TIME- WARP) The Death of River Phoenix Happened 24 years ago This Weekend!

On the evening of October 30, 1993, Phoenix was to perform with his close friend Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers onstage at The Viper Room, a Hollywood nightclub partly owned at the time by actor Johnny Depp. Phoenix had returned to Los Angeles early that week from Utah to complete the three weeks of interior shots left on his last project Dark Blood, a film that was finally completed in 2012. His younger sister Rain and brother Joaquin had flown out to join him at the Hotel Nikko (now the SLS Hotel) on La Cienega Boulevard. Phoenix's girlfriend, Samantha Mathis, had also come to meet him. All were present at the scene of Phoenix's death, according to Wiki.

During the early morning hours of October 31, 1993, Phoenix suffered a drug overdose, and collapsed outside and convulsed for over five minutes. When his brother Joaquin called 9–1–1, he was unable to determine whether Phoenix was breathing. His sister Rain proceeded to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

During the episode, Johnny Depp and his band P (featuring Flea and Phoenix's friend Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers) were onstage. According to Haynes, the band was in the middle of their song "Michael Stipe" while Phoenix was outside the venue having seizures on the sidewalk. When the news filtered through the club, Flea left the stage and rushed outside. By that time, paramedics had arrived on the scene and found Phoenix turning dark blue, in full cardiac arrest and in a flatline state. They administered medication in an attempt to restart his heart. He was rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, accompanied by Flea, via an ambulance. Further attempts to resuscitate Phoenix were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 1:51 a.m. PST on the morning of October 31, 1993, at the age of 23.

The following day the club became a makeshift shrine with fans and mourners leaving flowers, pictures and candles on the sidewalk and graffiti messages on the walls of the venue] A sign was placed in the window that read, "With much respect and love to River and his family, The Viper Room is temporarily closed. Our heartfelt condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones. He will be missed." The club remained closed for a week. Depp continued to close the club every year on October 31 until selling his share in 2004.

Prior to his death, Phoenix's image—one he bemoaned in interviews—had been squeaky-clean, owing in part to his public dedication to his various social, political, humanitarian, and dietary interests not always popular in the 1980s. As a result, his death elicited a vast amount of coverage from the media.[38] Phoenix was described by one writer as "the vegan James Dean," and comparisons were made regarding the youth and sudden deaths of both actors.

Phoenix's autopsy, signed November 15, 1993, reads as follows in the section entitled "Opinion" by Christopher Rogers, MD: "Toxicology studies showed high concentrations of morphine and cocaine in the blood, as well as other substances in smaller concentrations." The cause of death was "acute multiple drug intoxication", including cocaine and morphine Joaquin's call to 911 was recorded and broadcast by several radio and TV shows. Following the death of River and the invasive, disrespectful attitude of the media in his private life (a reporter broke into the Miami funeral home and took a picture of Phoenix resting in his casket that was sold to the National Enquirer), Joaquin walked away from Hollywood for the second time.

Phoenix was cremated and his ashes were scattered at his family ranch in Micanopy, Florida. Following his death, Aleka's Attic disbanded.

On the 20th anniversary of Phoenix's death in 2013, musician Bob Forrest talked about the young actor's early death saying that while Phoenix maintained a image of a hippie vegan pacifist the reality of his drug taking was much darker than anyone knew. Forrest said that Phoenix had been staying with musician John Frusciante for a few days prior to his death. The duo would go on long drug binges, barely sleeping. The would smoke crack, inject heroin and cocaine together. On the night of his death, both Phoenix and Frusciante arrived at the Viper Room together where they met up with Mathis and River's brother and sister. Forrest claims that cocaine was instantly passed around amongst the group however he noticed that Phoenix was already not looking well. During the performance by Depp's band, Phoenix informed Forrest that he wasn't feeling well, thought he was overdosing. Forrest said that Phoenix rallied and re-entered the crowd however moments later someone screamed out for 911 as Phoenix collapsed and started having seizures. Forrest drove his own car to the hospital however Phoenix died shortly after arrival.

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