Sunday, April 6, 2014

Obituary - Dave Gregg

On Sunday 30 March 2014, Dave Gregg, guitarist in Canadian Punk legends, D.O.A, died in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada from a heart attack. He was 54.
Although living in New York, Gregg and his wife, Cathy, were in Vancouver visiting family. It is thought they were there to see Gregg’s father, who had been ill, but first stopped to visit his wife’s mother. He was found unconscious in bed by his wife, having gone to bed early as he felt unwell. Doctors at Peace Arch Hospital diagnosed Gregg has having suffered a massive coronary which lead to a coma. Although put on a life support machine, Gregg passed away from liver and kidney failure.
Born in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, his father made maps of remote rivers and lakes for the province. During his childhood, the family moved to Quadra Island - an island off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He moved to Vancouver at the dawn of the local Punk movement and played in a band called PRIVATE SCHOOL at the infamous Anti-Canada Day celebration, staged by anarchists on 1 July 1978 at Stanley Park - an event which was opened by D.O.A. and headlined by SUBHUMANS.
In 1980, he landed the role of second guitarist in D.O.A, just prior to the band recording its debut album, ‘Something Better Change’. Getting down to the last two, Gregg won the audition on the advice of then-drummer, Chuck Biscuits, who reasoned that he was the better player, had a PA and a house to practice in. The house became known as Fort Gore, it being on Gore Avenue and was not only D.O.A’s practice space for many years but it also served as a venue.
During his tenure in D.O.A, Gregg played on what proved to be the band’s golden age, playing on classic material - the aforementioned debut album, the iconic ‘Hardcore ‘81’, ‘War On 45’ and ‘Let’s Wreck The Party’ among others. He left the band in 1988.
After D.O.A, he moved to New York with Cathy and formed two companies, Anthill and Easy Partners, which sold merchandise for prime rock acts including ROLLING STONES and AC/DC. East Partners took him to all manner of places including Russia, Alaska and South Africa.
He didn’t retire from playing though, as a stint in a funk-influenced band, Groovaholics, proves. He also did a stint in Celtic Punks, REAL MCKENZIES, playing on ‘Off The Leash’ and ‘Shine Not Burn’.
Gregg had a reputation as being wild stage (as footage on D.O.A’s ‘Smash The State’ DVD proves), but was easy-going and personable off it. "He was a wonderful guy, and really creative," said D.O.A founder Joe Keithley, who choked up discussing Gregg. "He was always in good humour."
Keithley’s thoughts on Gregg can be found on the band’s Facebook page -