Bush Tetras’ Laura Kennedy R.I.P.


Angular punk riffs and
funk basslines helped define an aesthetic, and Kennedy was in the thick of it.


By Fred Mills


Sad news in the indie community this week: according to
Minneapolis paper
City Pages Laura
Kennedy, an original member (bassist) for No Wave legends the Bush Tetras, died
yesterday (Nov. 14), following a long bout with Hepatitis C. She had been
living in Minneapolis
for the past 12 years and received a liver transplant in 2008 prior to her


The Bush Tetras were a classic downtown NYC band during the
late ‘70s and early ‘80s – signature song “Too Many Creeps” was a hit at
college radio – and in their time they helped pioneer the whole punk-funk
aesthetic that so many people probably take for granted nowadays. In clubs,
when a BT song came over the PA, it was an immediate and welcome call to dance yr ass off.


The City Pages report
notes that the Tetras got back together in 2009 to perform in Minneapolis along with the Suicide Commandos,
Pere Ubu’s David Thomas and Skoal Kodiak. It was a fundraiser for Kennedy, whose
medical bills were “astronomical.” The story also quotes from Kennedy’s blog,
and it’s worth posting here:


“Us New York City kids from
the ’80s, often transplanted from other cities, other countries, occasionally
other planets (take a wild guess who I’m talking about) – we’ve kicked ass.
We’ve taken names, too – and a good many of us have not only lived to tell, but
are rockin’ the telling and rollin’ the living in a way that’s inspirational…
We keep going, and going and going. I defy you to tell me that all of us
weren’t defined by that moment in time that we shared. This has been apparent
to me for a while, but more so now that we’re a decade into the oughts. We were
blessed to come together in this life at a time that defined the End of a Century.”


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