I've been haunted by the death of Larrissa Strickland, who died last Oct. 9 of a heroin overdose, in North Port, FL. Strickland was the guitarist of Detroit's Laughing Hyenas, the only band that comes in a close second to the Birthday Party as the most violent and intense band ever to make a record. Strickland's guitar technique was instinctive and untrained, with wild exploding walls of sound and feedback over primitive melodies. She had the face of an angel, and by all accounts was a giving and kind person. She was married and working as a cab driver when she died. Drug abuse and all the trappings that come with it plagued the career of Laughing Hyenas, making their output rather small. Butch Vig, at Madison's Smart Studios, recorded their two middle albums, “You Can't Pray a Lie” and “Life of Crime,” and caught them in their entire splendor. I'm sure there are some middle-aged readers out there that had seen them on the loose in Madison back in the day…
RIP: Audioslave. I really don't have anything to add…
SADIKI YOUNG Died Jan. 14 in a car accident. He was 18, a guitarist, and had recently joined the rock/ reggae band Jamrock.
UWE NETTELBECK Died Jan. 17, somewhere in France. He was the founder and producer of the pioneer Krautrock band Faust, and produced Slapp Happy.
JON ERIK JOHNSON Died Jan. 17, in Wollaston, MA, from complications of a seizure. The singer, guitarist and bassist worked with Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys, The Bourbonaires, The Hellbillies and Rex Trailer. He also wrote for The Country Standard Time.
BRENT LILES Died Jan. 18, when he was crushed by a semi truck while riding his bike in Placentia, CA. He was 43, a bassist, had been in Social Distortion and Agent Orange.
DENNY DOHERTY Died Jan. 19 in Mississauga, Ontario, of an aneurysm in his abdomen. He was in The Mamas And The Papas.
GERRU “PHAREAUX” FELTON Died Jan. 21, in Albuguerque, NM, of a heart attack. He was 59, the bassist and singer for Omar And The Howlers, co-wrote “Morning Train” and “Hwy 90.”
RAY BIEDRON Died Jan 22, in Ocala, FL, in a car accident that also took the life of his wife, Delphine. Born in South Milwaukee, he sang and played banjo and the tuba. He played with The Mendelssohn Club, The Tri-County Banjo Band, The Yankee Doodle Band and The Windjammers.
DISCO D Died Jan. 24, in New York City, of a suspected suicide. The Detroit-born producer was 26, and worked with 50 Cent, Fiddy and Kevin Federline.
JONATHAN LEMKE Died Jan. 25, after being stabbed to death by his brother, in Danville, CA. He was 26, a bassist, and a member of the San Francisco Bay area band Watersigns.
ARMY SPC. DARRELL SHIPP Died Jan. 25, in Iraq, when an explosive device went off near the Humvee he was driving. He was 25, a punk singer and guitarist, and a member of Celebrate Tuesday.
CHICO CHISM Died Jan. 28, at 79. The bluesman was born on a riverboat near Shreveport, LA. He led Chico Chism and the Chiztones and The Flamekeepers, and worked with T.V. Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Big Joe Turner, Bo Diddley, R.L. Burnside, Jimmy Rogers, Henry Gray, Louisiana Red, Pinetop Perkins, Little Junior Parker, Howlin' Wolf, and Clifton Chenier.
TOM MORRELL Died Jan. 29, of emphysema. He was a member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
JEANNE KANE Died Jan. 30, in Staten Island, NY, after being shot in her car by her estranged husband. She was a member of The Kane Triplets.
TERRY MCMILLAN Died Feb. 2, at 53. The harmonica player and percussionist worked with Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Neil Young, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed.
MARK DELGROSSO Died Feb. 3 after being in a snowmobile accident while on vacation in Vermont. The drummer was 49, and a member of Random Access.
BILL JORGENSON Died Feb. 5, after suffering a stroke in Green Bay, WI. “The Father of Wisconsin Bluegrass” was born on Dec. 22, 1930, in Algoma, WI, and played the guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and bass. He worked with Bill Monroe and was a member of America's Old Time Music Hall of Fame. He was noted for his kindness and musicianship.
FRANKIE LAINE Died Feb. 6., in San Diego, CA, of heart failure after hip replacement surgery. He was 96, and best known for the songs “Mule Train,” “The Theme from Blazing Saddles” and the “Rawhide.”
CAYCE LINDNER Died Feb. 6, of suicide. The Psychedelic folk rock singer, guitarist and songwriter was a member of The Golden Hotel, The Goodwill Tapes and Flying Canyon.
DOC DOOM Died Feb. 11, after being shot in Compton, CA, after being released from prison. Of the Wu-Tang affiliated group The Almighty Black Knights, he was working on music with Bobby Digital.
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