David Wood
Special to the Sun
Snowmass Village, CO Colorado

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April 24, 2012
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Four former shrines dedicated to musicians

There are many shrines on Aspen Mountain dedicated to various musicians, including Elvis Presley, Jerry Garcia, Michael Houser, the Beatles, and John Denver. There used to be four other shrines with a musical theme, covered below, but they are no longer in existence. All four were destroyed by vandalism. The vandalism to the Stevie Ray Vaughan Shrine occurred during the 2010-11 ski season, and the vandalism to the other three occurred just last month.

This shrine used to be located at the cabin that was occupied by silver miner William (Billy) Zaugg back in the mining days. Stevie Ray Vaughan's name was burned into the wood over the door to the cabin (although his last name was misspelled). Also there were photos of Stevie posted on the outside and inside of the cabin and on the trees around the cabin. Some yellow roses were tacked up to two of the trees. Now there is a wooden sign over the door to the cabin that says "Bill Zaugg's Cabin, the last miner to live on Aspen Mountain." This sign was put up after Vaughan's named was burned into the wood over the door, and partially obscures it.

Laminated pictures of Jimi used to line the trees at his shrine and there used to be a yellow plastic guitar hanging in one of the trees there. There was also a street sign reading "Jimi Hendrix Pl." This shrine was located near the stone remains of an old miner's cabin, and rails in the ground from the old rail cars are still visible in the summer when there is no snow on the ground. There was quite a collection of old skis resting against the stone wall here too. In an Aspen Times Weekly article of Sept. 19, 2009, we find this quote by Scott Condon: "Surreal scene at Hendrix Shrine. At the Hendrix Shrine itself, two walls of an old stone foundation remain from what was presumably an old mining work shack or living quarters. Rusted tin roofing and rusted metal from ancient machinery litters the ground. Someone placed an old door to a boiler or stove, emblazoned with the name of the manufacturer from Denver, high on a perch on the stone foundation. It's a surreal scene at the Hendrix Shrine, just as it should be. At the north end of the site, there is a small, fading picture of Jammin' Jimmy pasted onto the trunk of a good-sized aspen tree, juxtaposed against this ancient stone wall in the background."

The Michael Jackson Shrine was in the trees near the Buckhorn Cabin. It contained several large cutouts of Jackson, several laminated photos of him, some Tibetan prayer flags, a metal sign saying "King of Pop" with some musical notes on it, and some wind chimes.

The Drummer Shrine was near the Michael Jackson Shrine. It honored deceased great drummers, including Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Richie Hayward. It included a large drum hung from a tree by a chain, a drumhead where visitors could sign in, and laminated photos of each of these drummers.

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The Aspen Times Updated Apr 24, 2012 05:22PM Published Apr 24, 2012 05:20PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.