Category Archives: Music World Death

Flamin’ Groovies co-founder Roy Loney 1946-2019 R.I.P.

The boisterous frontman was a godfather, a pioneer, and a hero.

By Fred Mills

Indie music fans were stunned this weekend to learn that Roy Loney had abruptly passed away on Friday due to severe organ failure following surgery. He was 73. The news was broken by photographer Roberta Bayley on Facebook, writing, “Very sad news. Roy Loney, the original singer of the legendary Flamin’ Groovies has died. Only minutes ago. Roy was a great talent, as a songwriter and performer, and a great friend. He was hospitalized last week, and I spoke to him Wednesday. He was in good spirits. He had a surgery this morning and never came out of it. Sorry, I have no other details. Roy will surely be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

Earlier this year Loney was scheduled to reunite with the band he cofounded in San Francisco in the late ’60s, the Flamin’ Groovies, for a tour of Europe during which the plan was to perform classic ’71 Groovies album Teenage Head. In June, however, he suffered a fall at the airport and injured his head, preventing him from continuing on the journey. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Loney reportedly recovered from the fall but subsequently began to experience a decline in health “for reasons unconnected to the accident” and had to go into the hospital on several occasions.

The Flamin’ Groovies official Facebook page paid tribute to Loney via multiple posts, and fans poured forth with their own tributes.

In addition to the iconic Groovies (with whom he cut three albums and a 10″ EP during his 1968-71 tenure), Loney fronted several bands including the Phantom Movers and Roy Loney & the Longshots. He would also work in A&R for ABC Records as well as manning the counter of legendary Bay Area record store Jack’s Record Cellar. Over the years the fiery Loney became recognized as both a godfather of the punk movement and a spearhead of the roots-rock and rockabilly revival, and though he went into the studio only sporadically, whenever a new Loney-related record appeared, the rock community treated it like a genuine gift.

Below, check out a few classic Loney tunes, including three with the Groovies (the first one is from this past May):

SOUNDTRACK FOR A NEW & BETTER AGE: Johnny Clegg

Arguably South Africa’s greatest export ever, the Juluka / Savuka bandleader, and solo artist of equal acclaim, passed away a month ago this week. Journalist and longtime Clegg fan James Tighe offers this analysis and appreciation of the musical giant. (Above photo: courtesy Wikipedia)

BY JAMES TIGHE

It came out of the blue. The BBC radio announcement just before midnight on Tuesday, the 16th of July, that South African musician Johnny Clegg had died earlier in the day. Pancreatic cancer. He was 66-years-old. The news hit me hard. I didn’t know he had been diagnosed with the disease in 2015.

I first heard Johnny Clegg’s music during a three month stay on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in 1989. It seemed like everybody on the island was listening to him. As it happened, he played his final scheduled tour date there in October 2018.

Mauritius, being situated 500 miles east of Madagascar, is a member of several pan-African political and trade organizations. It has a sizable population of black citizens, Creoles, of east African origin, descendants of slaves imported to work the sugar cane fields by a succession of colonial powers, Dutch, French, English. These Mauritians, in particular, were ready-made Clegg fans.

The story of Johnny Clegg’s introduction to southern Africa’s Zulu culture and his lifelong identification with it has often been recounted. Born in England, he moved with his divorced mother to Zimbabwe at a very early age, then at the age of 6 to South Africa. Growing up in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, as the story has it, he met a street musician, a guitar player, who happened to be a member of the Zulu nation. The black street musician took the young white boy under his wing, introducing him to traditional Zulu music, dance, the larger culture.

The boy became enamored with all things Zulu, picking up the maskandi guitar and concertina accordion. He eventually became fluent in the language, mastered the male dance traditions, and becoming in the process something of an honorary member of the Zulu nation, if not an actual one.

His first musical incarnation consisted of assembling a mixed-race South African band, Juluka, releasing their first album in 1979. His partner-in-crime was the guitarist Sipho Mchunu, a Zulu migrant worker he met when he was 17. The songs were a mix of traditional Zulu music and rock-n-roll, with both English and Zulu lyrics.

Much of Clegg’s music is characterized by a chorus of deep male harmony vocals that help give the songs their power. Because the band was integrated, Juluka’s very existence was illegal, and the band members were arrested several times and their concerts broken up. At the time Clegg said that Juluka wasn’t founded as a political band, but, “Politics found us.”

He formed his second bi-racial band, Savuka, in 1986 (pictured above). Ironically, Clegg was expelled from the British Musicians’ Union around this time because he refused to stop playing shows in South Africa, a practice the international anti-apartheid movement didn’t condone.

***

After returning home to Oxford, Mississippi, from my Mauritius trip, Johnny Clegg became the matrix for my meeting a fellow countryman of his. One afternoon I was sitting in an Oxford bar, drinking a beer. No one else was in the place but the bartender. Behind the bar was a cassette tape player rigged to speakers. I asked the bartender to play the Johnny Clegg tape I had with me, one that I had bought in Mauritius. After a couple of songs, a guy walked up the stairs into the barroom. He was stout of body, with a black beard, longish hair, and wire-rimmed spectacles. He was about to seat himself at the bar when he stopped, looked up at the speakers with a quizzical expression, and said in a pronounced British accent, “Who’s playing Johnny Clegg?”

Thus was born the start of a friendship.

Peter Lee, like Clegg, was a South African of British ancestry. At the time we met he was the editor of Living Blues magazine, a University of Mississippi publication. He told me he had originally come to Oxford to enroll at Ole Miss as a result of his chancing upon a flyer posted on a bulletin board of the college he was attending in South Africa. The flyer invited students to apply to a foreign exchange journalism program at Ole Miss. Peter, a longtime American blues fan and collector of the music, immediately went into a mad scramble to get here. Mississippi. The word was magic to his ears. The Promised Land. The Birthplace of the Blues.

After graduating from the program, he was selected to become the editor of Living Blues. He went on to found Fat Possum Records in Oxford. His signing R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, among others, to the label revived their careers and helped put north Mississippi hill-country blues on the map.

It should be emphasized that Peter Lee didn’t start up Fat Possum just to make money. He founded the label to help black blues musicians make the money. And he wanted to promote the music. Peter’s deeply felt regard and respect for black people was catalyzed by his experience in the South African army where he witnessed first hand the brutality of his government’s apartheid regime.

As a South African soldier (military service being mandatory) he was literally placed on the front lines of the apartheid wars of the time, albeit not on the side he would have chosen. He witnessed up close and personal the savage inhumanity of violent racism as wielded by the state. The experience marked him for life. It is no wonder he loved Johnny Clegg and his music.

Johnny Clegg was an important public figure in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. His song Asimbonanga was dedicated to Nelson Mandela when he was still imprisoned on Robben Island. The song became an anthem of the movement. Clegg eventually received South Africa’s highest civilian honor, the Order of Ikhamanga, Silver. He was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French government and was made an Officer of the British Empire. The list of honorary degrees he has received from universities around the world is a long one. I don’t think he was well known in the U.S., but internationally, especially throughout Africa and much of Europe, he was a super-star.

Back in the early ‘90s Johnny Clegg and Savuka performed on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. It was quite a spectacle. The band members were dressed old-time ceremonial Zulu-style, half-naked, barefoot, draped in big-game animal furs and skins. With spears and shields they demonstrated Zulu dance rituals as they played and sang, deep-throated, resonant Zulu voices booming in harmony. The studio audience loved it. “Just wait until we tell the gang back home in Peoria about this, Gladys.”

Around that same time, I made a cassette tape of Clegg and Savuka for my friend Larry Brown, the late Mississippi novelist. On occasion, usually late at night in a barroom, he would incline his head toward mine and in a low, barely audible voice, begin singing, “Asimbonanga. . .” completing the first line of the song, pronouncing the Zulu words perfectly. He would always end by saying how much he loved the song.

Johnny Clegg’s songs were not only of visionary politics but also of his love for Africa and the African people, the rains they depend on, the ground on which they walk, hunt, till, and otherwise wrest a living. Hearing of his death that Tuesday night awakened in me many of the past associations he and his music have for me. He touched my life in the best possible way. The world is a better place because of him and his music. That, to me, is the ultimate tribute any one of us can ever hope to receive.

Below, watch a complete Clegg & Savuka concert from back in the day.

Silver Jews’ David Berman 1967-2019 R.I.P.

Above photo via Drag City / by Brent Stewart

By Fred Mills

Presumably most indie rock fans got the sad news about Silver Jews’ mainman David Berman‘s passing on August 7; the cause of death has officially been listed as suicide, and it followed a history on Berman’s part of substance abuse, a couple of overdoses, and a 2003 suicide attempt. More recently, his marriage had dissolved and he was apparently experiencing deep financial issues.

I’ll leave the pop-culture analysis and biographical summaries to other outlets. What caught my attention today, however, was a tendency among some music fans to play the exploitation card against presumed (in their minds, at least) music retail gouging – as if they had never heard of or imagined an artist whose passing prompted sudden and renewed sales of his/her catalog. I will charitably view that opinion as “naive,” but to broadly paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, I will also less charitably retort.

***

Allow me to add a potentially-received-as-cynical note: Welcome to real life, music lovers. This has been going on since Brutus shivved Caesar. To telescope down to the micro-level: why don’t we now also dump on Dave’s record label – I met him a couple of times, and he was a first-class dude, full disclosure, and I also mourn our loss – for not shutting down all product orders that are undoubtedly coming in at the moment? Or demand that they not accept money from streaming services that are having a major bump on Berman music?

It is the CONSUMERS who drive the demand, and therefore the prices. Commerce continues apace, regardless of what happens elsewhere in the biosphere. So by a certain twisted logic, maybe we should be going on a major rant against all the Silver Jews fans who suddenly want to get their fix when they got the news. Hey, what were they and their wallets doing during Dave’s lifetime, huh?

Here, let me very clear: he knew he had a very devoted fanbase. But he sure wasn’t on track to join the 1% from that fanbase’s support. Over the years I have voiced the opinion, in so many contexts and publications that I can’t even begin to remember, that the time to let an artist know you care and you respect him/her and you are looking forward to the next creation is NOW. Not after the fact. Ask me sometime how many heroes and heroines I’ve lost over the years and wished I had simply mailed in a fan letter, or, more recently, posted to their social media an expression of support, prior to their passing. As the visionaries of This Mortal Coil once pointed out so sagely and prophetically: “It’ll end in tears.”

I will add that I am 1 million percent against exploiting that $$$ exploitation dynamic, and I say that as a periodic record store employee or manager who was on the sales floor when the news of John Lennon’s assassination and Kurt Cobain’s suicide broke. We sure as hell didn’t say, “Hey, let’s jack these already-high album list prices and make a few extra hundred bucks by noon…” When you’ve been in the music industry as long as I have, you will have seen so many tragically premature shufflings off of the planet that you will reflexively say to yourself, “Well, i guess he/she’s gonna be back on the Billboard charts next week.”

But I am realistic: there will always be people who are engaged with commerce who, sensing an opportunity to make a few extra hundred bucks by noon, will go for it. I repeat: Welcome to real life, music lovers. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking records by a musician, autographs by a Kennedy, or scraps of a tunic originally worn by Caesar.

Now, I have no idea which music retailers are apparently being monitored by the Grief Police, or what their prices were before/after the news broke. What I would suggest, however, is that before making a blanket judgment, know what you’re talking about. In this instance, it would involve analyzing a number of complex marketplace dynamics… oh, and also the ability to read minds.

Just to bring it down to a more personal level: I had a pair of Silver Jews CDs that I’d listed online ages ago, and by the time I heard Dave had passed, those discs had sold hours earlier. One was relatively rare already. Were I so inclined, I probably could have claimed some b.s. like “sorry, cannot locate!” or “my co-worker wanted me to let him grab it and I had not yet had the chance to remove it from the store.” And then, of course, monitor the going prices, and re-list sometime soon in my store at a sweet spot, laughing all the way to the bank.

Obviously I didn’t. In fact, I had a wonderful conversation with a kid who clearly adored Dave’s music, and told him I was happy these could find find a good home with a fan. But that’s just me. Anybody who assumes that every collector, buyer, seller, mortician, etc. – and, let’s be very clear, capitalist – on the planet feels bound to act similarly is destined for a lot of disappointments once they get out of their parents’ basement.

None of this is intended to come across as cynical or uncaring. But I’ve seen this movie many, many times before. The rest of you will too, eventually.

David Berman, rest in peace. You brought a lot of joy to our civilization.

Guadalcanal Diary/Woggles’ Jeff Walls 1956-2019 RIP: An Appreciation

 

From the Editor: Atlanta/Athens musical maverick Jeff Walls passed away this week from what was described as a rare  pulmonary disease. He’d battled it for some time, and a GoFundMe campaign that his old Guadalcanal bandmate Murray Attaway had organized had already raised $45,000 towards a double-lung transplant. At the GoFundMe page a tribute reads, “Jeff Walls passed away on May 29th surrounded by his family. With broken hearts, we will continue this fundraiser and all the scheduled events as a memorial to this remarkable man, and to continue to help his family with the overwhelming medical costs of his care.”  To call Walls a mainstay of the Georgia – and the entire Southern – indie/alternative music community would be an understatement; I saw him early on with the legendary Guadalcanal Diary in the mid ’80s, sometime later with his rockabilly project Hillbilly Frankenstein, and in recent years with garage maestros The Woggles (who were also beloved guests at BLURT’s SXSW day parties at the Ginger Man club in Austin – scroll to the bottom for a video clip from that show). You can read a moving remembrance penned by veteran Georgia music journalist Tony Paris here, and below, our man in Atlanta, John Boydston, submits his own memories in words and photos. There will be memorial concerts to help raise funds for his medical bills later this month: June 7 at The Foundry in Athens, and June 23 at The Earl in Atlanta. – FM

TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Below: Woggles at Hole In The Wall, Austin SXSW, 2013

Jeff Walls was so up-close and friendly with everyone that you didn’t need to be a personal friend to get his full attention, and have conversations like you were in fact a longtime buddy catching up.   A mutual friend describes it well —  ‘When you were eye-to-eye with Jeff and he started telling you something, you just shut up and listened cause it was always amazing stuff.’   No matter what he was talking about it was cool and he let you in.   His friendliness, candor, and humor were always on.  Then throw on top of that what he is best known for: his incredible musical talents, showmanship, and studio chops that were already fully-formed when Guadalcanal Diary cut their first LP in 1984.  (True with that whole band in fact.)

Below: Woggles at Ginger Man, Austin SXSW, 2013
 

And the things I learned just following his Facebook feed and interacting there after I’d met him and shot a couple of SXSW gigs by The Woggles in 2013.   That band was a photographer’s dream, even in the darkest of clubs.  Especially in the darkest of clubs.   They shared my pics that weekend to great acclaim, and Jeff would continue to be highly complimentary of my “shutterbuggery” and thank me for my services every chance he got.   That was cool, cause I would learn Jeff didn’t say anything he didn’t mean.

Below: Jeff Walls w/Blasting Cap (which he formed with Guadalcanal Diary’s Murray Attaway) in Atlanta in 2016
I caught up with Blasting Cap, a band he put together with his wife Phyllis (on bass), GD co-founder Murray Attaway, and drummer Robert Schmid of the Swimming Pool Qs, and a gig at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta in early 2015.  I got some shots of band, and was sitting talking to Q’s singer Anne Boston (who were playing next), while Blasting Cap was winding down their set.  She said it looks like Jeff is getting ready to do something funky and suggested I go behind the stage and shoot whatever it was.  Got there just as Jeff was doing his Stratocaster toss, which I was not expecting.   Jeff’s rock and roll stage showmanship was never not on.   I attempted a GIF of that moment you can see here.

And you got deep thoughts from the guy too – here’s a quote from a private exchange we had on FB talking about the fickle biz he was in – “I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to be successful and be admired for music that you secretly hated … Not that I’ve ever had that problem! I think that the less-imaginative, mediocre musicians usually have the opposite problem: They fall in love with everything they do (no matter how god-awful it may sound to others). Otherwise, they wouldn’t keep doing it.”

Below: Jeff Walls with the Plimsouls in Athens in 2016

The next year I caught Jeff in Athens, GA (Ath Popfest) in a retooled version of The Plimsouls, with that band’s original guitarist Eddie Munoz, and Atlanta’s Bryan Malone also filling in for a short East Coast tour.  I forget the bar name, but the stage area was set up like a living room, and these guys exploded for a power-set of Plimsouls hits. Jeff played bass.  Also got to talk to Jeff before the show and that conversation was mostly about how much he loved his family, many of whom were there and ready to rock.  Being a grandparent is the best, he told me.

While I do not have photos, I did catch Guadalcanal Diary twice – once in 1986 at 688, and then a reunion show in 1999.  Plus Jeff’s band Hillbilly Frankenstein in 1993 at Atlanta’s Cotton Club. That might be one of the best rock and roll shows I’ve ever seen, and his timing with the retro-upswing of the ’90s was spot on.    Night and day from GD’s music, it just proved what brilliant a musician and showman Jeff was.

Anyone who can do all that and be the world’s nicest guy will truly be forever missed and appreciated. (Amen. – Ed.)
****
Below: A video clip of the Woggles performing at the above-mentioned BLURT day party during SXSW in 2013.

Sara Romweber (Snatches of Pink, Let’s Active, Dex Romweber Duo) 1963-2019 R.I.P.

“You just had to see her play once, and you’d never forget her”: One of the best damn rock drummers ever. Above: brother Dex Romweber with Sara. Scroll down to check out some video and audio.

By Fred Mills

The full details have not been disclosed yet, but what we do know is that Sara Romweber, the kit-crushing drummer for North Carolina’s Snatches of Pink, Let’s Active, and Dex Romweber Duo, has passed away at the age of 55, reportedly from cancer. As I write this the tributes from fans, friends, and fellow music critics are pouring forth on Facebook, testimony to how much she was respected in the music community – and loved in general.

I first met Sara in the early ‘80s when she was the diesel engine helping power Let’s Active  (pictured above, with Mitch Easter and the late Faye Hunter), and she was both hilarious and deliberately weird, full of offbeat jokes and muttered nonsequiturs. Sometime later, after leaving the band, she got together with Michael Rank, Jack Wenberg, and Andy McMillan in Chapel Hill to form garage/trash/twang renegades Snatches of Pink, a true rock ‘n’ roll antihero outfit whose uncompromising style and attitude had a way of creating a loyal fanbase even while club owners would sometimes be aghast at the group’s “unprofessional” behavior. Yours truly, writing in a 2015 essay titled “Why Snatches of Pink Was the Greatest North Carolina Band of the Late ‘80s and Early ‘90s,” observed, “Booze clearly fueled this band, which had slimmed down to a trio, McMillan having assumed the bass position (and sharing vocals with Rank) for 1989’s Dead Men. This LP, along with next year’s 4-song mini album Deader Than You’ll Ever Be, which was cut live at CBGB as a promotional radio release, is what solidified their image as a hard-drinkin’, unrepentantly badass group who clearly did not give a shit what folks—and, significantly, club owners and bookers—thought about the band as long as they came out to the show.” (Below: Snatches of Pink.)

I have more than a few memories of hanging with Sara, Mike, and Andy before and after shows, and Sara was just as hilarious as ever, yet in getting to know her a little better, I was struck by her intensity when it came to talking about favorite films and, especially, books. (One has plenty of time to read books when one is in a touring band.) In between tossing back shots we had a number of discussions about great – and even not-so-great – authors.

Later, during the late ‘00s and well into the current decade, Sara joined brother Dexter as the Dex Romweber Duo (above). I’ll never forget working at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh, NC, during the 2012 Record Store Day blowout: the Duo was scheduled to play a set that afternoon, and when Dex and Sara finally rolled up I went over to greet them. “Fred!” Sara shrieked, and gave me a huge hug – due to my moving around quite a bit, it had probably been 20 years since we’d seen each other, and it was a wonderful feeling to know that even after all that time she instantly recognized me and remembered some of the, uh, misadventures I had shared with the Snatches gang.

My deepest condolences to the Romweber family and to everyone who knew and loved Sara. May she rest in peace. Below are a few remembrances that have just been posted online that I feel are well worth sharing.

***

Stephen Judge, Schoolkids Records: “All of us at Schoolkids at devastated to hear this news today of the passing of a good friend, Sara Romweber. Sara was an amazing drummer and an even better person. Always lit up the room with her smile and charm. She loved coming to the shops on Record Store Day and she and her brother Dexter played our shops many times over the years. She was an inspiration to us all.”

Michael Toland, Austin Chronicle/Blurt: “One of the best rock & roll drummers to ever beat the skins. I saw SOP (when they were going by the name Clarissa) at the Electric Lounge one night and she was astonishing – precise, grooving and, above all, powerful. One of the unsung rock drumming greats.”

Michael Plumides, former owner of Charlotte’s 4808 Club: “The last show was performed by Snatches of Pink two nights later. No one showed up because the entire city thought we were out of business. They had revoked our ABC permit that day. That afternoon, Sara Romweber brought me a little hand-painted black bat on a string that she said she made for me. I adored Snatches of Pink but Sara especially and frankly, I was one of the few people in town who would book them.”

David Menconi, 2019 Piedmont Laureate and former music critic at Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Whenever I’d see Sara Romweber onstage, I would ask myself: How does she hit those drums so hard? Because even though she was slightly built and soft-spoken, Sara could bring the thunder. Sarah did not seem like one to call attention to herself. But you just had to see her play once, and you’d never forget her.”

 

 

 

 

Tony Joe White 1943 – 2018 R.I.P.

He was the Swamp Fox – the only one, period. And there will never be another. Latest album is Bad Mouthin’, and you need it.

By Fred Mills

Words escape me. When I finally got to see him perform live in Austin, about a decade ago at SXSW (Antone’s, if anyone is interested), I was absolutely flattened. To shake the hand of a hero of mine since the ’60s, well… he had no idea what a fanboy he was looking at through those thick black sunglasses of his.

Like I said, there are no words…

Conway Savage of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1960-2018, R.I.P.

Gifted Aussie keyboardist had a long, illustrious tenure with the Bad Seeds since the early ’90s. He’s pictured above, second from right. Below, watch a pair of videos and listen to a unique vocal performance with the Bad Seeds.

By Fred Mills

Having been fortunate enough to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds twice in recent years, it hits hard to learn of their veteran keyboardist Conway Savage’s passing yesterday (Sept. 2) from a brain tumor. He was only 58. Savage had been diagnosed in 2017 with the illness, and it prevented him from performing with the band for much of the Skeleton Key tour.

At the NickCave.com site, the following announcement was posted:

Our beloved Conway passed away on Sunday evening. A member of Bad Seeds for nearly thirty years, Conway was the anarchic thread that ran through the band’s live performances. He was much loved by everyone, band members and fans alike. Irascible, funny, terrifying, sentimental, warm-hearted, gentle, acerbic, honest, genuine – he was all of these things and quite literally “had the gift of a golden voice,” high and sweet and drenched in soul. On a drunken night, at four in the morning, in a hotel bar in Cologne, Conway sat at the piano and sang Streets of Laredo to us, in his sweet, melancholy style and stopped the world for a moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Goodbye Conway, there isn’t a dry eye in the house. Love, Nick and the Bad Seeds.

An extensive biography for Savage, that also details his numerous solo albums and other bands over the years, can be found here. Meanwhile, check out a few choice video moments, below – note that the third clip, a Bad Seeds montage, is for “The Willow Garden,” originally the B-side for “Where The Wild Roses Grow,” which was sung by none other than Savage himself. R.I.P., good sir.

Richard Swift 1977-2018 R.I.P.

Indie rock maven was noted for his music, his collaborations, his production work, and his dips into the film industry.

By Blurt Staff

Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and all-around Renaissance dude of the indie world Richard Swift has passed away, tragically, at the age of 41. According to Pitchfork, the cause of death has not yet been announced; his “life-threatening condition” had him hospitalized of late at a Tacoma, Wash., medical facility.

Read about Swift’s productive life HERE, and meanwhile, check out some choice music he left behind for the rest of us. Our condolences to his family and friends – and his many fans, including the BLURT community  Oh, and by the way – the top photo comes from the gent’s always lively Facebook page. We are confident he would have approved.

 

Adolescents/Agent Orange’s Steve Soto 1954-2018 R.I.P.

Ace bassist/guitarist justifiably considered an American punk legend.

By Barbi Martinez

In an era when we increasingly – and sadly, but respectfully – take note of the passing of musical elders from all genres, it still remains a shock when we lose someone from the punk era, since those ranks are, for the most part, not even remotely considered old and infirm. But word arrived today that the 54-year-old Steve Soto died yesterday, June 27. The cause of death remains unclear as of this writing.

Soto was a ground zero West Coast punk, having been an original member of both Agent Orange and the Adolescents, as well as Manic Hispanic, Joyride, 22 Jacks, the Twisted Hearts, and more. Most recently he had been touring with the Adolescents that wrapped last weekend in New York. Tributes have subsequently poured forth on social media from scores of contemporaries and fellow punk musicians.

On Twitter, the Adolescents posted, “with heavy heart i share the passing of steve soto, my friend and bandmate since 1979. i dont know what to do. or to say. goodbye my brother.” And on Facebook, is friend Greg Antista initially announced Soto’s passing, writing, “I’m sorry to break such bad news in such an impersonal way but the family of Steve Soto would like everyone to know that he passed peacefully in his sleep today. I’m sure this is a terrible blow to all of you. He will be missed. We will be posting details on a memorial as plans are finalized.”

Listen to Seattle ’72 Fleetwood Mac Show w/Danny Kirwan (R.I.P.)

The former Fleetwood Mac guitarist, and veteran of 5 key albums, passed away on June 8 at the age of 68.

By Uncle Blurt

The music world was caught offguard this past weekend with news of Danny Kirwan’s passing – speaking as someone who got to see him perform in the Bob Welch/Christine McVie-era incarnation of the band, I am particularly saddened. Not many details have been released as of this writing, although it’s known that he had numerous chemical and alcohol issues over the years.

He was a helluva guitarist, though, and the good folks at Big O zine have posted a sharp soundboard recording of Fleetwood Mac performing in ’72:

MP3: Paramount Northwest Theater, Seattle, WA; March 10, 1972

It’s an even mix of Kirwan/Peter Green-period classics and more then-recent fare from the Welch/McVie era (Future Games, etc.). The tracklist is below – enjoy. You can listen to it online or download it for free, along with downloadable artwork.

      Track 01
. Tuning and Intro 1:23 (2.3MB)
      Track 02
. Tell Me All The Things You Do 5:23 (9.1MB)
      Track 03
. Future Games 11:02 (18.5MB)
      Track 04
. Get Like You Used To Be 4:24 (7.4MB)
      Track 05
. Child Of Mine  7:23 (12.4MB)
      Track 06
. Spare Me A Little Of Your Love * 4:37 (7.8MB)
      Track 07
. Homeward Bound * 5:14 (8.8MB)
      Track 08
. Black Magic Woman 11:21 (19.1MB)
      Track 09
. Oh Well 3:07 (5.3MB)