ZVEX Effects Team Remembers Departed Friend Andy Richardson

Categories: Obituary
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Photo courtesy of ZVEX Effects

Last week, the local community mourned Andrew Richardson's life of creativity and caring coming to an early end. The musician, sound engineer, husband, and father was only 36.

Aside from his family and bandmates, among those hit hardest by his death were his coworkers at ZVEX Effects, a boutique company specializing in high-end guitar pedals and other accessories. There, Richardson was an integral part of the team, who brought humor and expertise to work every day. Here are some tributes from the staff.

See also:
RIP, Andy Richardson, member of "a bazillion" Twin Cities bands


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RIP, Andy Richardson, member of "a bazillion" Twin Cities bands

Categories: Obituary
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Via Facebook

UPDATE: A memorial auction has been set up to help benefit Andrew Richardson's family, including memorabilia and signed items from musicians like Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, the Black Keys, and Spoon. The auction will run until October 12, 2014.

Twin Cities musician, sound engineer, and devoted family man Andrew Richardson has died. He was 36.

The longtime ZVEX Effects employee was reported missing by his wife Marisa "Moe" Richardson, and his body was found the next day.

Born February 24, 1978, Richardson grew up in Minnetonka, and moved to Minneapolis right out of high school. His talents as a guitarist, vocalist, and bassist were spread all over the local scene. "He played in a bazillion bands," says Moe. Included were the Crush, described by City Pages' David Hansen as "pop punk with a heart, a rapier wit with searing chord work, a forceful jangle that owes as much to broken strings as to impassioned strumming." His other projects included the Book of Dead Names, the Dirty Hits, Infinity Dive, Start:Destruct, and many more.

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Remembering Tom Hallett, Twin Cities music writer extraordinaire

Categories: Obituary

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Courtesy of Paul Dickinson
L-R: Tom Hallett with friend Paul Dickinson
Tom Hallett was a true rock 'n' roll writer. He lived the rock 'n' roll life like the Twin Cities' own Lester Bangs, and wrote about it in great detail. For decades, Hallett avidly attended innumerable shows, and celebrated our scene hard. Hallett's recent passing after a struggle with diabetes shocked many. He was 50 years old.

His friends include cohorts at publications featuring his writing (The Squealer, Pulse of the Twin Cities, 'Round the Dial) and innumerable musicians, but his reach could never be contained. As Gimme Noise gathered stories of Hallett from the people in his life, a consistent thread emerged. These folks spoke about his passion for writing, making mix-tapes, radio, and having good times with his friends at all hours. It's said by all that Tom was a sweet, funny guy who was well-loved by all. Here's a lengthy collection, they way he'd like it, of memories from some of the people who knew him best.

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R.I.P., Run Westy Run founding member Kyle Johnson

Categories: Obituary
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SST Records/File
Run Westy Run, L-R: Kraig Johnson, Kyle Johnson, Terry Fisher, and Kirk Johnson

Kyle Jason Johnson, who played bass and rhythm guitar for Minneapolis rock band Run Westy Run, died among family and friends on Friday. Born September 1, 1959, he was 54.

He is survived by his two beautiful children. "He was a very creative and talented artist and musician, and he was loved and supported by many family members and close friends," says his sister, Kelly (Johnson) Abernathy.

The band initially featured three St. Louis Park-bred Johnson brothers -- Kirk, Kraig, and Kyle -- as well as close friend Terry Fisher. Run Westy Run packed a furious punch during the band's late-'80s and early '90s heyday. Their loud, uproarious sound incorporated elements of the blues and punk, and could always whip up a crowd. They released three full-length albums. Hardly Not Even (1987) and a self-titled release (1988) came out via SST Records, and Green Cat Island followed on Twin/Tone in 1990. R.E.M.'s Peter Buck was regularly enlisted for production work.

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Gwar's Oderus Urungus dead at 50

Categories: Obituary
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Photo by Erik Hess
RIP, Oderus Urungus a.k.a. Dave Brockie
Gwar founder and frontman Dave Brockie, who terrorized stages as Oderus Urungus, has died. According to StyleWeekly, the 50-year-old was found dead Sunday in his home in Richmond, Virginia.

Over the past 30 years, the thrash metal band and its frontman pulverized its audiences with bodily fluids, political fury, and one of the most elaborate stage setups in the history of rock 'n' roll. 


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Minneapolis rapper Dodi Phy has died

Categories: Obituary
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The Twin Cities hip-hop community is mourning the loss of rapper Dodi Phy (given name Mohamed Turay), who died at the age of 31 on February 21.

The Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider, in a poignant tribute to the fallen MC, reports that Turay committed suicide following a lengthy battle with depression, leaving behind two young sons, Jabarri and Khalil.


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First Avenue staffer Billy Sverkerson has died

Categories: Obituary
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Facebook.com
Twin Cities music venue vet Billy Sverkerson died early Sunday morning. The well-known and well-liked figure in the local scene was most recently employed at First Avenue, but his career in the music business traces back to the late '70s when he started working at the 400 Bar and eventually became a manager. He was 60.

It was at the 400 that the red-haired Sverkerson gave the Jayhawks a shot earlier in their career, and he often shuffled patrons out the door at the end of the night with the phrase "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." According to an interview with the Current, these words helped inspire Semisonic's Dan Wilson to include the lines in the band's hit single "Closing Time."

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Remembering Lou Reed, rock 'n' roll's favorite asshole

Categories: Obituary
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Photo by Steve Cohen
Leave it to Lou Reed. In the hours since the legendary Velvet Underground singer died in his Long Island home, at the age of 71 from apparent liver disease, the tributes have come pouring in. As far as influential figures in popular music go, they don't get much bigger. But it's hard to know just how to feel about his death.

There was no room for bullshit in Reed's life, nor for sentimentality. So it's hard to imagine this most cantankerous of rock stars spending much time being sad over his own death. And that, almost as much as his music, is why he'll be so missed.

See Also: Slideshow: Lou Reed at the Orpheum, 6/12/00


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MN Zoo dedicating amphitheater stage to Sue McLean

Categories: Obituary
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Before Wednesday's Lyle Lovett show at the Minnesota Zoo's Weesner Family Amphitheater, the stage will be dedicated to the woman who made it a premiere concert destination. For almost 20 years, independent concert promoter Sue McLean nurtured Music in the Zoo into a diverse series that revamped the site of bird shows into that of breathtaking live concerts.

From Feist to Carly Rae Jepsen to Brian Wilson, these shows have taken place in one of the most beautiful outdoor performance locations the state has to offer. And now the zoo will pay tribute to the ingenuity of Twin Cities concert titan McLean, who died in May after a battle with cancer at the age of 62.

See Also:
Concert promoter Sue McLean has died


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"Clouds" songwriter Zach Sobiech has died

Categories: Obituary
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Photo by Erik Hess
The prodigious singer-songwriter Zach Sobiech's trials with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, have ended. When his song "'Clouds" went viral last year, the teenager brought a wealth of hope and strength to his own situation and to countless others. On his Caring Bridge site today, his mother Laura Sobiech announced that he had passed surrounded by his sisters, brother, parents, and girlfriend. "We love him dearly," she writes. He was 18.

See Also:
SoulPancake releases Zach Sobiech documentary
Zach Sobiech: I hope a music career doesn't change who I am
Zach Sobiech at Varsity Theater, 2/16/13

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