Posted by themusicsover on July 12, 2012
DOB Unknown – July 12, 2012
Perry Baggs was a Nashville-based drummer who is perhaps best remembered for providing the back beat for influential cowpunk band, Jason & the Scorchers. Formed in 1981 by Jason Ringenberg, the band successfully married elements of classic country with the ferocity of punk rock. Although country rock had been around for years, the Scorchers brought a frenzy to the sub-genre like no one before. Sure, they might have been somewhat of a novelty around Nashville at first, but once audiences witnessed their feverish shows, they realized that this was no joke and when they witnessed them perform Hank Williams‘ “Lost Highway” it had none of irony of say, the Sex Pistols doing “My Way.” And Baggs was right there pounding the drums into submission night after night. The band’s fan base quickly grew amongst college students, and EMI Records took notice. The label released the appropriately titled, Fervor in 1983 and critics and new fans quickly took note. It landed on several year-end lists and was noted particularly for its ramped up rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Absolutely Sweet Marie.” A few more albums followed, but by 1990, the Scorchers, without the luxury of the “Americana” movement which was soon to follow, called it quits. Around the same time, Baggs was diagnosed with diabetes. During the mid 90s, however, the sounds of classic country was beginning to pop with some alternative rock bands, and the Americana, or alt-country movement was born thanks in part to the foundation built by the Scorchers. Perhaps because of this, EMI Records released a retrospective of the which include some new tracks, so the Scorchers decided to give it another go to the delight of their sizable cult following around the world. The band continued to record and tour on and off ever since. In 2008, the Americana Music Association recognized them with a Lifetime Achievement Award. On July 12, 2012, Perry Baggs, age 50, was found dead in his home. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.