RIP, KL Tha General: Friends and Fellow Artists Pay Tribute

Categories: In Memoriam

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From KL Tha General's Facebook page.
Kevie Durham (aka KL Tha General) was making strides in Denver's hip-hop scene. This week, in fact, he was headed to Atlanta to work with some artists and industry people there. But that's a trip he'll never take: Durham's life was cut short Saturday night in a shooting outsideThe Beach nightclub.

"Even from the road far from Denver and the music scene, I heard and saw his hunger for music grow. I am proud and delighted to see artists from my home town making great music," says fellow rapper Pries. "I was even more proud to see someone I knew, KL, doing something positive. He will be missed, and his family will always be in my prayers."


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RIP Oderus Urungus: Gwar's five most entertaining videos

Categories: In Memoriam

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Jon Gitchoff for the Riverfront Times. Full slideshow.
Dave Brockie, better known as Gwar frontman/front-alien Oderus Urungus, passed away this morning. He was just fifty years old. His death follows that of guitarist Cory Smoot, aka Flattus Maximus, in 2011, while the band was on tour. Having formed the band of terrifying alien creatures in 1984, Brockie had long been the only remaining founding member of Gwar.

In the midst of the sadness, it should be remembered that Gwar was/is one of the most relentlessly entertaining bands on the metal circuit, with endlessly elaborate stage shows consisting of fake blood, props, things getting chopped in half, and tireless sets of over-the-top thrash metal. The last time I saw Gwar, the lead singer of Every Time I Die was fed to a gigantic maggot during the encore. Gwar was definitely a good time.

Here are some of the most entertaining Gwar videos I could pull together on short notice, chronicling the band's time not only as a legitimately good metal act, but as entertainers and comedians as well.


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R.I.P., Pete Seeger

Categories: In Memoriam

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Anthony Pepitone / wikimedia

Folk music fans woke up some very sad news this morning. Banjo player, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, folklorist and all-around activist Pete Seeger died late last night in New York from natural causes. He was 94. The loss is tough to quantify for fans of any folk, roots, blues and Americana music released the past seventy years.

See also: Pete Seeger, Pete Seeger: In His Own Words (the ten best books of 2012)

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Nelson Mandela inspired a rich musical legacy

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wikimedia

Nelson Mandela was a pivotal agent for change who inspired a rich musical legacy of resistance. Biographer Richard Stengel describes Mandela, who passed away yesterday at the age of 95, as "the last pure hero." And while he was all that and more, the music the iconic historical figure inspired was pure protest music, particularly for those caught up in the struggle for South Africa's freedom but living here in America in the '80s. The music and the movement was pure in a way that just doesn't seem possible today.

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R.I.P., Lou Reed

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Man Alive!/Wikimedia Commons

One of the largest looming and most influential icons in the history of rock and roll, Lou Reed died on Sunday at the age of 71. No word has been received regarding the cause of Reed's death, though the "Walk on the Wild Side" songwriter underwent a liver transplant last May that nearly cost him his life.

See also: The Velvet Underground and Nico turns 45 today

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R.I.P., Tanner Seebaum

Categories: In Memoriam

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We've got some sad news to share with you this morning: Tanner Seebaum, the sixteen-year-old DJ we told you about last month who was battling brain cancer, passed away this past Friday, July 12. As you might remember, a number of Denver dubstep icons stepped up to support the young man, who was able to spend his last days happily spinning records, including a chance to deejay alongside Reid Speed and Downlink and guest-spot at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's Rehab pool party in Las Vegas during Electric Daisy Carnival.

See also:
- Dubstep icons help dreams come true for sixteen-year-old DJ battling cancer
- Whomp there it is! The story behind the ever popular, award-winning Whomp Truck
- DJ Ishe wants you to unplug from society


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R.I.P., Ray Manzarek: The Doors' keyboardist dies at 74

Categories: In Memoriam

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R.I.P., Ray Manzarek (second from right)

Possibly the most famous and influential keyboardist in the history of rock, Doors co-founder Ray Manzarek, died yesterday at age 74 from complications due to bile-duct cancer. Known as the lanky professor crouched off to the left of Jim Morrison, Manzarek was an erudite multi-instrumentalist who delivered a complex and layered sound to an otherwise minimalist arrangement.

See also:
- The Doors' Robby Krieger on playing with the Roadhouse Rebels and his new album
- A new box set reveals Jim Morrison with his pants down
- Ian Astbury on being a devotee of the Doors -- not just a fan


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R.I.P., Joe Cahill: Memorial, Monday at the Fox, with the Motet and members of Leftover Salmon

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Facebook
Some more sad news to report for a music community that's still grappling with the losses of some other dearly departed friends: If you haven't heard, Joe Cahill, Leftover Salmon's lighting designer, passed away last week in New Orleans.

According to an item filed by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Cahill, who had just finished a string of dates with Leftover Salmon, was shot during a home invasion in New Orleans on Sunday, April 28, where he was reportedly involved in a disturbance.

See also:
- R.I.P., Chris Haney
- R.I.P., Barry Fey
- Horns for Haney: A photo tribute to Chris Haney


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R.I.P., Jeff Hanneman

Categories: In Memoriam

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R.I.P., Jeff Hanneman (second from left).

Oh, man, this week just isn't getting any easier. As we're still grappling with the two recent deaths that rattled our community this week, comes word of another significant loss. If you haven't heard yet, Jeff Hanneman has passed away at the age of 49. The Slayer guitarist reportedly died this morning of liver failure in Southern California. Besides playing a pair of songs with the band at the Big Four at Coachella in April 2011, Hanneman hadn't been performing with the band as he struggled to recover from a flesh-eating disease he ostensibly contracted from a spider bite.

See also:
- R.I.P., Barry Fey
- R.I.P., Chris Haney
- Still reigning in blood, Slayer gives the devil his due


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Gil Asakawa, Westword's original music editor, remembers legendary promoter Barry Fey

Categories: In Memoriam

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By Gil Asakawa

I first visited the offices of Feyline, Barry Fey's concert promotions company, in the early 1980s when I was music editor for Westword. I had become friends with Feyline's publicist, Mark Bliesener, and I would go over to the office to get the skinny on upcoming shows. That's when I first met Barry Fey, who was physically larger-than-life at various times (he'd yo-yo between being morbidly obese and merely overweight).

Fey had an office next to Chuck Morris, his onetime competitor who booked small clubs like Tulagi in Boulder and Ebbetts Field in Denver. By the '80s, Fey had brought Morris on board the Feyline train. Every time I visited, I was amazed at how much the two of them fought -- or seemingly fought. All I'd hear the whole time was cussing and screaming back and forth, and stuff being thrown around, though I don't recall ever having to duck. Fey was one of the most profane people I know -- more than even most journalists.

See also:
- R.I.P., Barry Fey
- Barry Fey cause of death confirmed, foundation and Red Rocks statue campaign
- Barry Fey is dead: Towering figure in Denver music scene passes away


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