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Posts Tagged ‘Ramones’

Died On This Date (September 25, 2012) Paul Kirby / Walk The West; Cactus Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on September 25, 2011

Paul Kirby
DOB Unknown – September 25, 2011

Paul Kirby was a Nashville singer-songwriter who fronted the popular roots rock band, Walk The West and later, Cactus Brothers.  Decades before anyone thought up the name, “Americana” as a music genre, Kirby was marrying rock ‘n roll with rough-and-tumble country music.  Formed with his brother, Will Kirby and schoolmate John Goleman in 1984, Walk The West quickly built a sizable local following thanks to their blistering live shows and growing arsenal of original songs.  They were quickly snapped up by Capitol Records just as major labels were trying to find their own contributions to the “cow punk” scene that was suddenly in vogue.  The band had a couple of minor hits thanks in part to video play on MTV and opening slots for the likes of the Smithereens and the Ramones.  Walk The West never released a follow-up for Capitol and disbanded within the next few years.  During the early ’90s, Kirby resurfaced with the more adventurous Cactus Brothers  who were definitely more “alt” than “country,” but nonetheless found a home on Liberty Records who was currently riding the high of Garth Brooks.  The band released two albums and appeared in the film Pure Country before again being dropped by their label.  Kirby and Walk The West reunited for a special event in Nashville in 2008, and then again just weeks before his untimely death.  According to the Nashville Scene, Paul Kirby died of cardiac arrest on September 25, 2011.  He was 48.  Fellow Cactus Brother David Schnaufer died in 2006.

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Walk the West - Walk the West

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Died On This Date (June 14, 1996) Matthew Fletcher / Heavenly; Talulah Gosh

Posted by themusicsover on June 14, 2010

Matthew Fletcher
November 5, 1970 – June 14, 1996

Matthew Fletcher was the drummer and primary songwriter for late ’80s British pop band, Talulah Gosh, which morphed into twee punk band, Heavenly in 1989.  Both bands had solid fan bases thanks in part to their “Ramones meets Ronettes” sound.  Heavenly released three albums for the hip label, Sarah Records, and were about to release their fourth when Sarah closed.   Matthew Fletcher committed suicide shortly before the release of that album.  He was just 25.

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Le Jardin de Heavenly - Heavenly

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Died On This Date (April 23, 1991) Johnny Thunders / New York Dolls

Posted by themusicsover on April 23, 2010

Johnny Thunders (Born John Genzale Jr.)
July 15, 1952 – April 23, 1991

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Born in Queens, NY, Johnny Thunders formed his first band while in high school.  At the time, he went by the name Johnny Volume, and that band was Johnny and the Jaywalkers.   By the late ’60s he was hanging out down around Bleeker Street where he hooked up with Arthur “Killer” Kane and Billy Murcia.  Their first band together was called Actress, but when David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain came on board a couple of years later, the name was changed to New York Dolls, Johnny Volume became Johnny Thunders, and the rest is history.  The Dolls released two albums that were virtually ignored by the public (including most of those that now claim to have been fans back in the day…you know, just like the Ramones).  By 1975, the band had broken up, but they would continue to strongly influence bands like the Sex Pistols and Guns ‘n Roses, and whatever crawled out of the gutter in between.  Thunders went on to form the Heartbreakers with former Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan and Richard Hell.  They recorded on and off until 1984, at one point moving to London where they were very popular with the up-and-coming punk bands.  Thunders also recorded a few solo albums during this time, including the awesome So Alone, which featured a stellar cast of allegedly drug-fueled guests including Phil Lynott, Steve Marriott, Paul Cook, Steve Jones, and Chrissie Hynde.  The album featured the beautifully sad and perhaps autobiographical  “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory.”  All the while, Thunders himself was falling deeper into the clutches of heroin abuse.  In 1991, while in New Orleans, Johnny Thunders was found dead in his hotel room.  Although the cause of death was never stated in the autopsy, it was widely assumed that he died of a methadone abuse.  Not without controversy, others have sworn that foul play was involved, pointing to strong evidence that he was killed perhaps by drug dealers who were after his large stash of methadone.  It was also reported that the autopsy revealed he was suffering from advanced stages of leukemia.  Whatever the case,  local police never bothered to open a criminal investigation.

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Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

What You Should Own

So Alone - Johnny Thunders

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Died On This Date (February 4, 2009) Lux Interior / The Cramps

Posted by themusicsover on February 4, 2010

Lux Interior (Born Erick Purkhiser)
October 21, 1946 – February 4, 2009

lux-interior Lux Interior, lead singer of psychobilly stalwarts The Cramps died Wednesday, February 9, 2009. According to the band’s official press release, Interior passed away due to an existing heart condition in the early morning hours at Glendale (California) Memorial Hospital. Born Erick Purkhiser in Ohio, Interior eventually landed in Sacramento, California where he reportedly picked up hitch-hiking college student, Kristy Wallace. The two soon became soul mates over shared interests in obscure music and wild fashion and formed the nucleus of the Cramps. By 1975, the couple were in New York City helping define the original punk scene that also gave us the Ramones, Talking Heads and Patti Smith. But the Cramps sound was very different from the others. By combining equal elements of surf, rockabilly, camp, horror and fetish, along with Lex’s passionately reckless vocals and stage theatrics, the Cramps quickly built a legion of loyalists that would stay true to the band for decades to come. It should be noted that the Cramps are likely the only band in history who have performed at both the Napa State Mental Hospital AND on Beverly Hills, 90210.

Thanks to Stephen Brower and Craig Rosen at Number1Albums

What You Should Own

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Songs the Lord Taught Us - The Cramps

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Died On This Date (October 12, 1978) Nancy Spungen / Girlfriend Of Sid Vicious

Posted by themusicsover on October 12, 2009

Nancy Spungen

February 27, 1958 – October 12, 1978

nancyNancy Spungen was just 17 when she left her Southeast Pennsylvania home for New York City to follow her true passion, punk rock.   She quickly became immersed in the city’s growing underground scene, gravitating toward bands like the New York Dolls, the Heartbreakers, and the Ramones.  Two years later, she moved to London where she met the Sex Pistols.  After reportedly being rejected by the band’s singer, Johhny Rotten, Spungen set her sites on bassist, Sid Vicious.  Over the course of the next two years, there relationship and lives spriraled out of control due to increasing dependence on heroin and other drugs.  Accounts differ as to which initially dragged the other along for the ride.   The last couple of months of their lives together were apparently marred by incidents of domestic violence.  On October 12, 1978, 20-year-old Nancy Spungen died from a single stab wound to her abdomen in the Chelsea Hotel room she shared with Vicious.  Vicious was immediately arrested for the murder.  While some of his own comments seemed to implicate him, there are other valid theories as to what happened, including her being killed in a botched robbery while Vicious was in a drug stupor.  Adding to the mystery, Vicious died of what is believed to have been an intentional overdose just prior to when he was to stand trial for the murder.  His suicide note indicated that they had made a death pact but did not implicate him in her killing.

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