WORT, a community sponsored radio station based in Madison, Wisconsin, mourns the retirement of Dave Zero, who DJ'd his last Friday afternoon radio show January 13. Zero had impeccable taste in smart, upbeat rock music, and he was always kind to the hundreds of guests and bands that performed live on his show. WORT may be able to fill his timeslot, but they will never be able to replace Dave Zero.
My favorite band in the world, The Cummies, left Madison for the greener pastures of New York City. Man, you should have seen them when you had the chance.
Shot To Hell, the pride of La Crosse, have released Waking Up, a five song CD that is available through their website and at their shows. Jon Nygren, formerly of Space Bike and Dream 13, has joined Shot To Hell on lead guitar and vocals, while Jack Nachtman, of the late, great Mudride, has thrown away his guitar in order to play the drums. While still keeping their rowdy sound, Waking Up tears through new territory for Shot To Hell. Think Bad Company meets Hank Williams III in a head shop. (www.shot2hell.com)
Multi-instrumentalist, producer and all around nice guy Gordon Raphael has started his own record label, Shoplifter Records. The former musical director for Sky Cries Mary and producer of the first two CDs by The Strokes is going to release 400 songs on the same day through his website, some Guinness record, I'm sure. (www.shoplifterrecords.co.uk)
RIP2006 starts off really, really badly…
BRYAN HARVEY Murdered Jan. 1, in Richmond, VA, with his wife and two children in their home in a random attack by tweekers who, a few days later, murdered a family of three. He was the singer and guitarist of House Of Freaks (“Big Houses” and “Broken Bones”) and Gutterball (“When You Make Up Your Mind” and “Please Don't Hold Back”).
ERNANI BERNARDI (aka Mr. No)Died Jan. 4, in Van Nuys, CA. (Jazz) Born Oct. 29, 1911 in Standard, IL. Played saxophone, worked with Benny Goodman, Kay Kyser and Tommy Dorsey.
LOU RAWLS Died Jan. 6, of lung and brain cancer. Born Dec. 1, 1933 in Chicago. A singer, he did “You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” and “Love Is A Hurtin' Thing.”
ALEX ST. CLAIRE Died Jan. 6. (R&B/Rock) Born Sept. 14, 1941 in Los Angeles. A guitarist, trumpeter and drummer, he was a member of The Omens, The Solid Senders, and an original member of Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band. He worked with Denny King and Frank Zappa.
JOHNNY FORTUNE Died Jan. 8, in Rialto, CA. (Surf Rock/Country) Born in Ohio, the singer, guitarist and bassist did “Soul Surfer” and “Dragster,” and worked with Sam Cooke (“Chain Gang”).
GEORGE KEITH Died Jan. 8, of pancreatic cancer. (Jazz) Born Dec. 11, 1933. Played saxophone and worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Hoagie Harper and Nat Towles.
DONALD PEARSON (aka Dr. Don)Died Jan. 9, during heart surgery. Born 1942 in Chicago. An audio engineer, he worked with Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, The Grateful Dead, The Dave Matthews Band and Primus. He co-founded UltraSound.
GEORGE JAVORI Died Dec. 10, 2005, by suicide. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1972. He was the drummer for Firewater and Joan Baez.
LESTER KING (aka Wizard) Died Jan. 10, in Kansas City, MS, via self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Blues) Born April 13, 1954, in Van Buren, AK. A guitarist and singer, he did “Black Widow Spider” and “Turning Cold.” He worked with Albert King, Chick Willis and Otis Clay.
MARK SPOON (Markus Loffel) Found dead Jan. 11, in Frankfurt, Germany, of cardiac arrest. (Dance) Born Nov. 27, 1966, in Frankfurt, Germany. He was half of the duo Jam & Spoon, who did “Right in the Night (Fall in Love with Music)” and Tokyo Ghetto Pussy, who did “Stella” and “I Kiss Your Lips.”
SIMON KUMARAPELI (aka Hadji) Murdered Dec.11, 2005, in Montreal, Canada. (Indian/Electronica/Fusion) The 38 year-old guitarist was half of the duo Hadji & Lmo (“Somewhere in India” and “Le Gayi”).
WILSON PICKETT Died Jan. 19, of a heart attack, in Reston, VA. Born March 18, 1941, in Prattville, AL. He is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and was known for “In the Midnight Hour” and “Mustang Sally.”