New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders passed away on April 23, 1991. Though many rumors surrounded Thunders' death, it was ruled that he died of drug-related causes. Thunders had been staying at the St. Peter House in New Orleans and by the time he was discovered, rigor mortis had set in.

The apartment had been ransacked, with some of Thunders' possessions missing and the musician's body was discovered underneath a coffee table in an unnatural state. Eyewitnesses reported that he was bent "like a pretzel," while neighbor Willy DeVille stated that when the body bag came out, it was in a U shape. An autopsy later concluded that the level of drugs in his system was not fatal, but it also revealed that he was suffering from advanced leukemia.