Townes Van Zandt died on New Year's Day after a heart attack at his home in Smyrna, Tennessee. He was 52. Shortly before his death, Van Zandt had been recording at a studio in Memphis with, of all people, Steve Shelley, drummer for postpunk noisemakers Sonic Youth. It could've been a magical pairing, but the sessions reportedly were scrapped because Van Zandt was just too out of it -- so out of it that he didn't even know he had a broken hip, despite the fact that he was confined at the time to a wheelchair because of the injury.
Sadly, tragically, up to his death, Townes Van Zandt was wasting his potential.