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Posts Tagged ‘The Sex Pistols’

Died On This Date (August 16, 2014) Billy Rath / Bassist For Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers

Posted by themusicsover on August 16, 2014

Billy Rath
August 8, 1948 – August 16, 2014


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Billy Rath is perhaps best remembered as the second bassist for Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers.  The band formed in 1975, and Rath came on board in 1976 to replace Richard Hell who left to form the Voidoids.  Hitting Europe just as punk rock was taking hold, the Heartbreakers immediately fell into the scene and were quickly invited to tour with the Sex Pistols on their doomed Anarchy in the UK tour.  The band soon recorded their first and only album, L.A.M.F (Like A Mother Fucker), to mostly mixed reviews – although critics liked the band and the songs, they didn’t care much for the album’s production.  The Heartbreaker’s label soon went out of business, and the band’s dissolved in late 1977.  They did reform for occasional gigs in New York City during the late ’70s and early ’80s, but Rath left for good in 1985.  Over the next two decades or so, Rath stayed away from music business.  He studied Psychology and Theology, and eventually worked as a counselor addicts.  In 2010, he resurfaced at a  Max’s Kansas City reunion which lead to the formation of his own band, Billy Rath’s Street Pirates.  Rath continued to perform live to adoring crowds,even touring the UK during the final years of his life.  Billy Rath died at the age of 66 on August 16, 2014.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to David Plastik of eRockPhotos for the assist.

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Died On This Date (July 12, 2012) Perry Baggs / Jason & The Scorchers

Posted by themusicsover on July 12, 2012

Perry Baggs
DOB Unknown – July 12, 2012

Photo by Helen Comer/The Tennessean

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.

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Died On This Date (December 16, 2011) Jennifer Miro / The Nuns

Posted by themusicsover on December 16, 2011

Jennifer Miro (Born Jennifer Anderson)
May 3, 1957 – December 16, 2011

Jennifer Miro was a keyboardist and singer who played in the pioneering San Francisco punk band, the Nuns.  Formed in 1975, the band, which included Alejandro Escovedo and Jeff Olener, brought on Miro who had grown tired of playing in a local Doobie Brothers cover band.  The band quickly found its audience with the Bay Area’s underground punk lovers, and on January 14, 1978, they found themselves opening for the Sex Pistols‘ final concert at the legendary Winterland Ballroom.  For a brief time, the Nuns were managed by Bill Graham, but they parted ways due to Graham reportedly taking offense to their song, “Decadent Jew.” After the Nuns broke up in 1979, Miro played with the VIPs and later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a solo career.  She also worked with Narada Michael Walden and later found some success as a fetish model.  The Nuns reunited a couple of times during the ’80s and late ’90s.  On December 16, 2011, Jennifer Miro died from complications of liver and breast cancer.  She was 54.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.

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Died On This Date (February 2, 1979) Sid Vicious / Sex Pistols

Posted by themusicsover on February 2, 2010

Sid Vicious (Born Simon Ritchie)
May 10, 1957 – February 2, 1979

sid-viciousSid Vicious is best remembered as the bassist for the enormously influential and equally notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.  Vicious’ music career began in 1976 with a band called The Flowers of Romance in which he sang and played the saxophone.  He also played drums for Siouxsie & the Banshees at their first ever gig, 1976’s 100 Club Punk Festival.  It has alson been reported that Vicious was once considered to be the lead singer of the Damned.  He was asked to join the Sex Pistols in early 1977, not necessarily because of his bass skills – he didn’t have any – but because of his punk attitude.  Besides, he had been to every one of the band’s shows thus far.  He played his first gig with the band on April 3, 1977, but what many don’t realize, he did not play on Never Mind the Bullocks.  It was Steve Jones playing the bass parts.  In November of 1977, Vicious met American music lover, Nancy Spungen, with whom he began a stormy relationship that many feel lead to the disintegration of the Sex Pistols along with his own life.  At the very least, she was his enabler as he spiraled deeper and deeper into drug addiction.  After the Sex Pistols broke up during their disastrous 1978 U.S. tour, Vicious tried to mount a solo career with a series of shows at Max’s Kansas City in New York City.  On October 12, 1978, Vicious, according to his own recollection, awoke in the morning after a night of heavy drug use to find Spungen dead of a stab wound to her abdomen.  She had bled out in the bathroom of their Chelsea Hotel room.  Vicious was arrested and charged with the murder after making conflicting statements along with comments that implicated himself.  It should be noted that he was in a drug induced stupor.  Ten days later, he tried to kill himself by slicing his wrists.  Although on the surface, it seemed like an open and shut case against him, there is a strong possibility that Spungen was killed during a robbery or drug deal that turned bad. On December 9, 1978, Vicious was involved in an altercation that lead to his arrest and incarceration.  On February 2, 1979, he posted bail and went to celebrate at the home of a friend.  By this time, he was clean due to his time in a psychiatric hospital following his suicide attempt.  In an unbelievable turn of events, his mother had some heroin delivered to their celebration. Not being able to resist, Vicious took part and died of an overdose early the next morning.  He was just 21 years old.

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Died On This Date (January 1*, 2009) Ron Asheton / The Stooges

Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2010

Ron Asheton
July 17, 1948 – January 1 (?), 2009

ronRon Asheton was most famously the lead guitarist for Detroit rock band the Stooges, a garage band lead by the wildly charismatic Iggy Pop.  With the Stooges, Asheton was considered by many as ground zero for what would become known as punk rock some ten years later.  Born in Washington DC, Asheton began playing the guitar at just ten years of age, perhaps tired of the accordion, which he had been playing since he was five.  By the time he turned eighteen, he was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan playing alongside his brother Scott, Iggy Pop and David Alexander in the Stooges.  The band quickly established themselves as a must-see act in and around the Detroit area for their aggressive playing and Pop’s shocking stage antics.  It must be noted that this was still the ‘60s, a time when such blistering noise and in-your-face singing was difficult for many a Woodstock generation to swallow.  But they persevered and soon landed on Elektra Records who released their brilliant self-titled debut in 1969.  It was Asheton’s fuzzy guitars that helped define a sound that was the blueprint for the likes of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Ramones and roughly a million more.   By the mid ‘70s, the Stooges had disbanded after three brilliant yet commercially dismal albums.  Asheton and his brother continued to play, both together and in support of other acts for the next several years.  In 2003, Rolling Stone placed Asheton at number 29 in their 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. And to the delight of fans old and new, the Stooges reunited to tour in 2003 and later released The Wierdness, their first album in some 30 years.  On January 6, 2008, Asheton’s assistant called the police after not being able to reach him for a few days.  According to the Ann Arbor News, officers entered Asheton’s home at around midnight and discovered his body on a living room couch, apparently dead for several days.  They did not suspect foul play.  Later reports indicate that Asheton died of an apparent heart attack on either December 31 or January 1.

Thanks to Fred Jasper for the help

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