Bob Madigan, one of three music icons to die in a week
Yes, they go in threes.
So this is about it as far as musical deaths for the time being; A trio of good ones gone in a week, ending with today’s announcement of the demise of Davy Jones of the Monkees.
First was Michael Davis, 68, MC5 bassist, who passed Friday in California.
Next was Bob Madigan, 47, a multi-instru noise monger whose stellar project was Slaughterhouse.
Now, Jones, 66.
Madigan is the only one of these that I knew. He drank himself to death and ended up in San Francisco living with his brother, a broken down mess.
Bob was a really decent guy who had a mind for the bent. Slaughterhouse shows were a blizzard of flashing lights, fuzzed out basses and guitars and Bob standing in the middle of it all shouting into a megaphone, his cupped hands, maybe even a microphone. Here’s a little directory of some Slaughterhouse gigs. I was in Blight and we shared a stage with Slaughterhouse on at least a couple occasions.
Bob would call at 4 in the morning as if it was 4 in the afternoon, and have a perfectly lucid conversation about movies or books or music. He did this with me in the 80s. I was up.
Davis always struck me as tragic. Someone told me the sad story of Davis selling U of M painter’s hats – remember those little white paper jobs? – on the streets of Ann Arbor in the 80s, just trying to carve out a living. This is the bassist for the MC5 doing this.
Jones, well, the Monkees were better than the Beatles anyway.
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter with over two decades of experience in daily newspaper, Web and magazine reporting and writing. Miller has done time as a court and cops beat reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a national reporter for the Washington Times, and as a correspondent for national publications including People magazine, High Times, Boston Magazine, Miami New Times, Houston Press, The Daily Beast and U.S. News and World Report. In 2012, he was an Edgar award finalist for his book, Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender. He is a recipient of the digital investigative award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Miller was also the former vocalist in the Midwest punk rock outfit the Fix in 1980-81.
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