The death of Bobby Fuller is one of rock ’n’ roll’s great unsolved puzzles. At around 5:00 p.m. on July 18, 1966, the young singer was found dead inside his car. Intriguingly, the car was discovered near his residence in Los Angeles. Where he had just come from nobody knew. Four days later, he was put to rest in Hollywood’s Forest Lawn Cemetery. But the singer’s death was never fully explained.
KRLA Beat, a magazine dedicated to rock, summed up the air of bewilderment at the time. “He was only 23,” the piece started. “A promising young singer from Texas whose friends said, ‘He just liked to be around people,’ when he was found dead in his car parked in front of his home. And no one knew why,” it went on.
Indeed, the loss of Fuller was a loss to rock ’n’ roll itself. His most famous hit, “I Fought The Law,” went on to inspire waves of punk rockers from The Clash and The Ramones, to The Dead Kennedys and Green Day. Indeed, all of those bands have performed boisterous covers of it. What else might Fuller have contributed to music if only he had lived a full and long life?