Sunday, July 8, 2018

Obituary - Nick Knox

On Thursday 14 June 2018, Nick Knox - best known as the definitive drummer for THE CRAMPS - passed away. According to his sister, Jeanne Goldberg, the cause was cardiogenic shock. He was aged 65.
Knox, whose real name was Nicholas George Stephanoff, was born on 26 March 1958, the only son of Boris and Virginia Stephanoff.He first found notoriety in Cleveland proto-punks, THE ELECTRIC EELS when he joined the band as drummer in 1975. Although this line-up with Knox recorded a series of demos, which included the posthumous 1978 released single ‘Agitated’ on Rough Trade, it was to prove short-lived as they performed just the one gig before splitting up.
In 1977, he joined THE CRAMPS, replacing original drummer Miriam Linna. His tenure with the legendary Rockabilly/ Garage/ Punk band would last through to 1991 and saw him perform on many of the band’s most popular records including the four studio albums: 1980’s Alex Chilton-produced ‘Songs the Lord Taught Us’, 1981’s ‘Psychedelic Jungle’, 1986’s ‘A Date With Elvis’ and 1990’s ‘Stay Sick!’ - along with 1987's live 'Rockin n Reelin In Auckland, New Zealand'.
His stoic demeanour, quiffed jet black hair and shades added to the cool appearance the band had already created. He can be seen drumming with the band in the 1980 film, URGH!, A Music War, cranking out ‘Tear It Up’, which culminates with a flying cymbal and again on the infamous ‘Live At Napa State Mental Hospital’ performance recorded in 1978.
On leaving the band, Knox largely retreated from the music world, returning to Garfield Heights, Ohio. In 2003, he made his last live appearance, this time with Cleveland legends THE PAGANS. Although he did occasionally do some Djing, his next notable music venture was working with CLEVELAND STEAMERS, playing drums on three tracks from the band’s 2013 debut album and being credited as ‘Senior Advisor’ on the band’s recently released ‘Best Record Ever’ album. He filled the ‘Senior Advisor’ role for ARCHIE AND THE BUNKERS also, who lovingly referred to him as ‘Grandpa Nick’.
Linna wrote the following in a Facebook post: "I last saw Nicky – Nick Knox – who most you know as the drummer of note for 70s bands the Electric Eels and The Cramps, last weekend, in intensive care at the Cleveland Clinic. It was heartbreaking, as I had spent a few great days with him at the end of April."
A service was held on Wednesday 20 June at 11:00 AM. Interment was at St. Theodosius Cemetery, Cleveland Ohio.
Knox is survived, in addition to his sister, by nephews, a niece and cousins.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Obituary - Tony Kinman

On Friday 4 May 2018, Tony Kinman, bassist and co-founder of THE DILS and RANK AND FILE, passed away due to a particularly aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. He was aged 62.
Born in 1956, he grew up with his family - which included brother Chip - in Carlsbad, San Diego, where the brothers formed a few bands, including THE NEGROES and THE DUDS. Come 1976, the brothers formed THE DILS, an overtly political Punk band, playing many of the city’s first Punk shows, often alongside THE ZEROS.
They decamped briefly to the more vibrant, and Punk-friendly city of San Francisco, before moving again, this time to Los Angeles. September 1977 saw the band release its first single, ‘I Hate The Rich’/ ‘You’re Not Blank’ on What? Records which was followed just two months later by the classic ‘Class War’/ ‘Mr. Big’ single on the infamous Dangerhouse Records. The band also landed a part in the film, Cheech And Chong’s Up In Smoke performing ‘You’re Not Blank’ in the Battle Of The Bands scene.
The Kinman brothers then moved back to San Francisco only to record their final EP, ‘Made In Canada’ in Vancouver, Canada. Although the band secured a supporting slot with THE CLASH and were in discussion with John Cale (of the VELVET UNDERGROUND) about a collaboration, the band split in 1979, before the ‘Made In Canada’ EP had even been release. Tony then had a brief spell with San Fran band, THE AVENGERS.
Following the break-up of THE DILS, the brothers relocated again, this time to Austin, Texas and continued to work together in RANK AND FILE - a Roots Rock/ Cowpunk band. They landed music in the film, To Live And Die In L.A while their 1982 album, ‘Sundown’, earned them the title of Country Band Of The Year from The Austin Chronicle. The band split in 1987 after the hard-rock driven self-titled third album.
Following RANK AND FILE, there were various music collaborations including a Techno-Metal deal in BLACKBIRD and Country and Western influenced (with emphasis on the Western) COWBOY NATION. 
More recently, Tony worked behind the scenes on the new FORD MADOX FORD album, ‘This American Blues’, which also features Chip's son, guitarist Dewey Peek and was released in February.
In March, Tony was diagnosed with cancer and began what was expected to be a six-month program of chemotherapy, according Chip's wife, Lisa Kinman. However, the cancer turned out to be extremely aggressive.
On Thursday 3 May, Chip Kinman's Facebook page alerted fans of his brother's condition: "Tony is home with his family. He is no longer receiving treatment and is comfortable and at peace. I have read him everything that people are posting and he is very moved. I will let everyone know when it is done. I love you all. Thank you, Chip."
The following day, Tony Kinman passed away. Besides his brother Chip, he is survived by his wife, Kristie.