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Archive for November, 2010

RIP, Armando Acosta (November 25, 2010) Saint Vitus

Posted by on November 25, 2010

Armando Acosta
DOB Unknown – November 25, 2010

Armando Acosta was the founding drummer for doom metal band, Saint Vitus.  Formed in Los Angeles in 1979, Saint Vitus was one of the genre’s earliest and most influential bands.  They called it quits in 1996 but reformed briefly in 2003 and then again in 2008.  Over the years, they released seven albums, four of which on the great SST Records.   Acosta left the band in 2009.  Armando Acosta was 58 when he passed away on November 25, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (November 24, 2010) Throbbing Gristle

Posted by on November 24, 2010

Peter Christopherson
February 27, 1955 – November 24, 2010

Known by the stage name, Sleazy, Peter Christopherson is best remembered as a founding member of British avant-garde industrial band, Throbbing Gristle.  He was also part of such projects  Psychic TV, Coil, Soisong, and The Threshold HouseBoy’s Choir. Throbbing Gristle formed in 1975, with Christopherson mostly handling synthesizers and vibraphone.  The group developed a very loyal following thanks in part to their sometimes controversial shows that often included disturbing visuals of Nazi concentration camps and pornography.  Throbbing Gristle  were pioneers of incorporating prerecorded tapes, or “samples” into their shows, and paved the way for such bands as Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Front 242.  The group broke up in 1981 but then reformed in 2004.   Remarkably prolific, they recorded numerous albums for the highly influential Mute Records, also the one-time home for Depeche Mode, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and Erasure, to name a few.   While he wasn’t making music, Christopherson was a video director, graphic artist, and photographer.  Peter Christopherson passed away in his sleep on November 24, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.  He was 55.

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RIP, Albert “Little Smokey” Smothers (November 20, 2010) Chicago Bluesman

Posted by on November 20, 2010

Albert “Little Smokey” Smothers
January 2, 1939 – November 20, 2010

Little Smokey Smothers was a popular Chicago-area blues singer and guitarist.   Smothers was playing the guitar by the time he turned 15, and within two years, he had moved from his home in Mississippi to Chicago to make his mark.  In those early years, he played with the likes of Magic Sam, Otis Rush and Howlin’ Wolf, for whom he played on his Chess recordings.   During the early ’60s, Smothers met Paul Butterfield and soon helped him form the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.  He played with most of the blues greats during the ’60s, but his career all but dried up by the ’70s so he left the business to work construction.  His music career enjoyed a renaissance during the ’90s – he spent the next several years performing at popular blues festivals and recording albums.  After his health began to deteriorated during the mid-2000s due to diabetes, old friends and collaborators like Elvin Bishop stepped in to help with fund raisers, etc.  On November 20, 2010, Little Smokey Smothers died of natural causes.  He was 71.

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RIP, Tony Moreno (November 14, 2010) Record Label Veteran

Posted by on November 14, 2010

Tony Moreno
DOB Unknown – November 14, 2010

Tony Moreno is best remembered as the founder of MP Records, one of the biggest independent Latin music labels in the United States.  Moreno moved to Miami from Cuba shortly in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s revolution.  In 1987, he started MP Records which quickly established itself as one of the premier Tropical labels in the world.  Over the course of MP’s long run (it merged with J&N Records in 2006) it was home to the likes of Oscar D’ Leon, Eddie Santiago, Tito Rojas, and Jose Luis “El Puma” Rodriguez.   Tony Moreno was 66 when he passed away on November 14, 2010.

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RIP, J.P. Toulan (November 13, 2010) Old Skull; Planned Collapse

Posted by on November 13, 2010

John Paul Toulan
1980 – November 13, 2010

JP Toulan is best remembered as the lead singer and guitarist for early ’90s pre-teen punk band, Old Skull.  Formed in Madison, Wisconsin in 1989, the band was initially made up of Toulan (age 10), his brother Jamie Toulan (age 9), and friend Jesse Collins-Davies (age 10).  In 1989, the band signed with respected indie label, Restless Records who released their debut, Get Outta School.  The fact that the boys were not even in their teens yet sang of such themes as AIDS, homelessness, and Reagan-era politics, many critics wrote them off as a novelty act.  Meanwhile, they continued a to build a solid fanbase throughout the skate punk community.  And perhaps due to their novelty, they were asked to support such acts as Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth and GWAR, and were profiled in such media as “A Current Affair,” MTV News, Life and Newsweek.  In 1992, the band released their second album, CIA Drug Fest but soon broke up.   Toulan battled drug addiction throughout his adult life.  In 2005, Old Skull briefly reformed, afterwhich Toulan moved to New York where he joined crust punk band, Planned Collapse.   JP Toulan was 30 when he passed away on November 13, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Mike Woodford for the help

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RIP, Reg King (November 8, 2010) British Mod Singer; The Action

Posted by on November 8, 2010

Reginald King
February 5, 1945 – November 8, 2010

Reg King was a respected British singer and songwriter whose band, the Action, with all due respect to the Kinks, Small Faces and the Who, were widely considered the best of the UK mod scene.   King also helped popularize “blue eyed soul” throughout the region.  What endeared the Action to mods was that they were edgier than their contemporaries and often included the latest American soul covers in their live sets.  Even though they never were able to break out of a cult status, their fans were markedly loyal.  Formed in 1963, the Action were signed to Parlophone Records in 1965.  Even though they had developed a rabid fan base thanks to their live shows, none of their records sold very well.   In spite of that, future stars like Paul Weller and Phil Collins claim them as favorites and inspirations.  In fact, Collins played with the Action for a reunion show  in 2000.  Reg King was 65 when he died of cancer on November 8, 2010.

Thanks to Anne Bentley for the help

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RIP, James Freud (November 4, 2010) Lead Singer of The Models

Posted by on November 4, 2010

James Freud (Born Colin McGlinchey)
June 29, 1959 – November 4, 2010

James Freud is best remembered as the lead singer and bassist for ’80s Australian new wave rock band, the Models. Formed in Melbourne (originally without Freud) in 1979, musically the Models had much in common with fellow countrymen, INXS, including  a handsome and charismatic front man in Freud.  Over the next ten years, the group scored a handful of moderate hits, both in Australia and the U.S., but they never quite broke out of cult status.   Freud was just 16 when he formed his first band, and after hearing the Sex Pistols a year later, he realized rock ‘n roll was his true calling.  By the end of the ’70s, James Freud & the Radio Stars were causing a local stir and were quickly signed to Australia’s storied Mushroom Records.  Their first single “Modern Girl” was successful enough to land them on a Gary Numan tour.  Freud then joined the Models in 1982, and went on to write a some of their biggest hits.  Records like “Barbados” and “Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight” helped them become one of Australia’s post-punk bands.  After they broke up in 1988, Freud embarked on a solo career which included Mushroom’s most expensive album to date, Step Into The Heat.  He also wrote two autobiographies, I Am The Voice Left From Drinking and I Am The Voice Left From Rehab, in which he chronicled his career in music and his struggles with substance abuse.   On November 4, 2010, 51-year-old James Freud was found dead from what was reported to be a suicide.  Just several days earlier, he and the Models were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Thanks to Anne Bentley for the help

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RIP, Jim Clench (November 2, 2010) April Wine; Bachman Turner Overdrive

Posted by on November 2, 2010

Jim Clench
May 1, 1949 – November 2, 2010

Jim Clench was a Canadian musician who is perhaps best remembered for his time in both April Wine and Bachman Turner Overdrive. For April Wine, he played and sang on their early ’70s albums, Electric Jewels, On Record, and Stand Back.   He left the group in 1975.  Three years later, he joined Bachman Turner Overdrive, replacing Randy Bachman who had just embarked on his solo career.  He stayed with the group until their first break-up in 1979, playing and singing on Street Action and Rock ‘N Roll Nights.   Clench also played bass and keyboards on Bryan Adams’ debut album.  When April Wine reformed during the early ’90s, Clench was back on board.  He played on their next four studio albums until leaving again in 2006.  Jim Clench, aged 61, passed away on November 2, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums

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RIP, Remus Bell (November 1, 2010) Bluegrass Great

Posted by on November 1, 2010

Remulus Bell
DOB Unknown – November 1, 2010

Remus Bell was a Roanoake, Virginia bass player who, over a career that spanned some 60 years, was one of the region’s most respected bluegrass and country musicians.   Bell launched his professional career in 1950 and went on to play with such local bands as Tommy Magness’ Tennessee Buddies, and Vivian Bell & the Country Kings. Vivian Bell was his wife.   During the early ’50s, he played on recordings by Magness.  His long music career was briefly interrupted when he served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.  Remus Bell was 79 when he passed away on November 1, 2010.

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