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.

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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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Concert promoter Sue McLean has died

Categories: Obituary
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Sue McLean, an independent Twin Cities concert promoter, passed Friday afternoon after a battle with cancer. Any regular show-goer in the region has attended countless shows booked by McLean over the past four decades. McLean is responsible for booking the Basilica Block Party since it began in 1995, the Minnesota Zoo's extensive summer concert schedule each year, the O'Shaughnessy's Women of Substance Series, and dozens of other shows in nearly every club and theater in the Twin Cities. She was 63.

Raised in Dayton, Minnesota, McLean's work in the local music business began after she graduated from St. Cloud State in 1973 with a degree in speech and communication. In her early years she worked for rock promoter Randy Levy, and secured bookings for the Suicide Commandos and Curtiss A before moving on to become a talent buyer for Duffy's Nightclub. Her first booking ever: jazz bassist Charles Mingus at the Bronco Bar in Chanhassen.

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RIP George Jones, country legend (1931-2013)

Categories: Obituary

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Nikki Miller-Rose
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair in 2010.
To begin a remembrance of George Jones, one need look no further than his song lyrics. "He stopped loving her today, they placed a wreath upon his door." "Yabba Dabba Doo, the King is gone, and so are you." Jones died this morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, after being hospitalized there last week for treatment of a fever and irregular blood pressure. He was 81.

See also:
RIP George Jones: The story of how he learned to sing
Ten George Jones career milestones
George Jones at the Freeborn County Fair, 8/6/10

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Remembering Richie Havens, who became a star at Woodstock

Categories: Obituary

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Richie Havens at Woodstock in 1969
The fact that for years no one was certain how long Richie Havens played at Woodstock tells you he belonged to a different age. The 28-year-old folk singer from Brooklyn was not scheduled to be the event's opening act. In fact, he wasn't even stage manager John Morris' first choice for an emergency replacement when traffic snarls held up many of the acts. (And Tim Hardin was found too stoned to perform.) The largely unknown Havens was given the spot intended for Sweetwater, who had first caught ears with a heavy psychedelic take on a familiar spiritual, "Motherless Child."

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Dave Ayers: Tim Carr always put the art first and let the rest be damned

Categories: Obituary
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Tim Carr Memorial Page
Many in the local and global music community are mourning last week's loss of Tim Carr, an esteemed local music writer who went on to sign the Beastie Boys, Megadeth, and countless others in an impassioned career. He worked throughout the U.S. and eventually shifted his projects to Thailand, where he passed at the age of 57.

One of his personal friends, Dave Ayers, also has seen many pastures in his 30-year music business career. His A&R work includes Twin/Tone Records, Savoy Music, Capitol Records and Chrysalis, and he also managed Soul Asylum, Ween, Helmet, Joe Henry, Sparklehorse, and others. In September he and his partners launched Big Deal Music Publishing.

Gimme Noise reached out to Ayers to get some perspective on the loss of Carr, and this heartfelt remembrance is what we received.

See Also:
Tim Carr, local music critic and A&R rep, dead at 57

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