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Archive for the ‘New Wave’ Category

RIP, Mick Karn (January 4, 2011) Bassist For Japan

Posted by on January 4, 2011

Mick Karn (Born Andonis Michaelides)
July 24, 1958 – January 4, 2011

Mick Karn is perhaps best remembered as the bassist for British art-rock band, Japan during the late ’70s and early ’80s.  The band, which also featured David Sylvian, Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen and Rob Dean where one of the foundations on which the “New Romantic” movement was built – even though they fought to distance themselves from it.  They fancied themselves more of the David Bowie, New York Dolls and T. Rex ilk.  Albums like Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum quickly established them as leaders of the alternative rock heap around the world.  After the band broke up in 1982, Karn released several solo albums while collaborating with the likes of Midge Ure, Peter Murphy, Joan Armatrading, Gary Numan, and Kate Bush.  He continued to record as recently as 2009.  On January 4, 2011, Mick Karn died of a cancer that he had been battling for the previous several months.  He was 52.

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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.

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RIP, Ian Morris (October 7, 2010) Popular New Zealand Musician; Co-founded Th’Dudes

Posted by on October 7, 2010

Ian Morris
DOB Unknown – October 7, 2010

Ian Morris was a respected musician, songwriter and producer from New Zealand.  He is perhaps best remembered as the founding guitarist for early ’80s new wave band, Th’ Dudes.  Formed in the late ’70s while the band mates were in college, Th’ Dudes quickly built a sizable following thanks in part to their catchy pop sound that has been compared to the likes of Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.  In 1979, the band were named New Zealand’s Group of the Year.  The band experienced a resurgence in popularity during the ’90s and again in the mid 2000s, prompting them to reunite and tour from time to time.  Outside of Th’ Dudes, Morris earned his living by writing commercial jingles and producing others.  He also successfully recorded under the moniker, Tex Pistol.  On October 7, 2010, 53-year-old Ian Morris died suddenly and unexpectedly.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, John Hanson (September 24, 2010) The Slickee Boys

Posted by on September 24, 2010

John Hanson
DOB Unknown – September 24, 2010

John Hanson was the sound man, roadie and sometime rhythm guitarist for Washington DC new wave band, the Slickee Boys.  Formed in the mid ’70s, the Slickee Boys soon became heroes of the local underground scene.  Hanson was just 16 years old when he went to work for the band as the decade was drawing to a close.  Besides acting as the band’s roadie and sound man while on the road, Hanson filled in on rhythm guitar, taking over the slot officially in 1988.  The band broke up, for the most part, in 1991 after which Hanson played in such groups as the Septic Twins, the Zones, and the Upsetters.   He also worked the soundboard at the legendary DC venue, the 9:30 Club.  John Hanson reportedly committed suicide on September 24, 2010.  He was 47.

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Died On This Date (August 28, 2007) Hilly Kristal / Owned CBGB’s

Posted by on August 28, 2010

Hilly Kristal
September 23, 1931 – August 28, 2007

Hilly with Little Steven

Hilly Kristal with Little Steven

Opened in 1973, Hilly Kristal’s CBGB became the epicenter of the punk and new wave movement thanks to his early bookings of such acts as Blondie, Talking Heads, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Television and the Ramones.  After moving to New York City after serving in the Marines, Kristal became manager of the storied Village Vanguard jazz club where he booked such acts as Miles Davis.  In 1968, he co-founded the Central Park’s Schaefer Music Festival which, over the next decade, hosted the likes of the Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, the Doors and Aerosmith.  In 1973, he opened CBGB – OMFUG, which stood for  “Country, BlueGrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers.”  He closed the club during a much publicized rent dispute in 2006.  Hilly Kristal died of lung cancer at the age of 75.

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Died On This Date (August 17, 1993) Phil Seymour / Dwight Twilley Band

Posted by on August 17, 2010

Phil Seymour
May 11, 1952 – August 17, 1993

Phil Seymour was a singer, songwriter and musician who gained a following during the new wave era thanks to such power pop classics as “Precious To Me” as well as “I’m On Fire” from his days fronting the Dwight Twilley Band.  Seymour grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he met Dwight Twilley, another aspiring musician at a 1967 screening of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night.  The struck up a friendship and a musical partnership that would eventually get them signed to Shelter Records who in 1975, released their first single, “I’m On Fire” which reached #16 on the Billboard singles chart.  They would record just two classic albums together before Seymour went of on his own.  Before the release of the first of his two solo albums, Seymour did session work, playing drums on power pop icons 20/20’s debut album, as well as singing backing vocals on Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and “Breakdown.”  During the early ’80s, Seymour released two albums, Phil Seymour (featuring “Precious To Me”) and Phil Seymour 2 before the death of label head, Neil Bogart derailed his record company as well as Seymour’s career.  In 1984, he joined the Textones, a Los Angeles band fronted by Carla Olson that was alt-country twenty years before the genre had a name.  Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with lymphoma not long after recording an album and touring with the band.  Phil Seymour died as a result of the cancer at the age of 41.

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Died On This Date (August 14, 2005) Esther Wong / The Godmother Of Punk; Owned Madame Wong’s in L.A.

Posted by on August 14, 2010

Esther Wong
August 13, 1917 – August 14, 2005

Esther Wong was a Chinese immigrant who landed in Los Angeles in 1949.  By the mid ’70s, Wong and her husband were running Chinese restaurant that presented a Polynesian floor show in L.A.’s Chinatown.  When business started to slow down by the end of the decade, Wong reluctantly allowed a local promoter to start booking local punk bands on her stage.  At the time, most of the city’s venues were banning such acts.  The promoter and Wong soon parted company and Wong started bringing music she enjoyed – the more pop leaning new wave.  In 1985, the club was seriously damaged in a fire and within a few years, Wong opened Madame Wong’s West in Santa Monica where she continued building her reputation as the “Godmother of Punk.”  The list of acts that played Madam Wong’s during their early years includes Guns ‘N Roses, Black Flag, Blondie, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oingo Boingo, Fear, the Ramones, the Go-Gos, and the Police.  Esther Wong died of emphysema on August 14, 2005, the day after her 88th birthday.

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Died On This Date (August 6, 2009) John Hughes / Director; Made Hit Soundtracks

Posted by on August 6, 2010

John Hughes
February 15, 1950 – August 6, 2009

John Hughes 01John Hughes is best remembered as a writer or director of some of the most popular coming-of-age films of the ’80s.  He was also responsible for introducing many new bands to American audiences thanks to their prominent placement in his films and soundtracks.   Too most, John Hughes films were the first place they heard what would now be called “alternative” rock when it was still in it’s infancy.  Movies like The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, and Ferris Beuller’s Day Off featured future hits like Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me,” Yello’s “Oh Yeah,” Spandau Ballet’s “True,” and OMD’s “If You Leave.”  And so golden was his touch, that MCA Records gave him his own boutique record label at the time.   John Hughes died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 59.

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Died On This Date (July 15, 1979) Rick Garberson / The Bizarros

Posted by on July 15, 2010

Rick Garberson
DOB UNK – July 15, 1979

Rick Garberson was the drummer for Akron, Ohio based post-punk band, the Bizarros, who formed in early 1976. Hailing from the city that gave us Devo, Pere Ubu and Chrissie Hynde, the Bizarros were an integral part of the scene and were in fact, the first local band to be signed by a national label, Mercury imprint, Blank Records.  Garbeson died of carbon monoxide poisoning on July 15, 1979.

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Died On This Date (February 14, 2010) Doug Fieger / Leader Of The Knack

Posted by on February 14, 2010

Doug Fieger
August 20, 1952 – February 14, 2010

Doug Fieger is best remembered as the lead singer and primary songwriter for Detroit new wave band, the Knack.  Formed in 1978, with Berton Averre, Prescott Niles, and Bruce Gary,  the group seemingly came out of nowhere with a huge hit, “My Sharona,” that has since become a musical icon of the era.  With their power pop songs and clean cut image during a time when punk and heavy metal were battling for the attention of y0ung teens, the Knack offered an alternative that was more akin to the early Beatles.  Their debut album, Get The Knack, that also included their second hit single, “Good Girls Don’t,” sat at the top of the U.S. album chart for six weeks while selling over 2 million copies.  It’s follow-up, …But The Little Girls Understand went gold, but for the most part, the band’s huge fan base was beginning to move on.   The Knack broke up in 1982, but reformed a few times over the years ever since.  Before his tenure with the Knack, Fieger played bass and sang lead for ’70s country rock band, Sky.  He also played bass in German prog band, Triumvirat during 1974.  Doug Fieger, age 57,  died of cancer on February 14, 2010.  He had been battling the disease for a few years.

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