Robin Williams Passes Away at 63

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UPDATE (sadly):

The corner’s office and the Marin County police department said in a press conference earlier today that Robin Williams had passed away from “an apparent hanging.” The actor had hung himself with a belt and was discovered Monday by his personal assistant.

He was found unconscious Monday and now the police department have revealed that Williams was found hanging and rigor mortis had set in.


 

For us, one of the hardest things to write about is the death of a celebrity, but what’s worse to report is when that celebrity is an actor which played an important part of your childhood.

Earlier today, it was reported that Robin Williams had passed away from an apparent suicide by asphyxiation. The actor had been battle severe depression and had checked into a rehabilitation center around the time his CBS comedy, The Crazy Ones was officially cancelled. This wouldn’t be the first time that Williams had checked into a rehab center; he had done so before in the past.

Williams played some of the most funny characters that as a kid growing up in the 90s kind of shaped what we thought was comedy (we even still watch Mork & Mindy on the Hub when they do play it). If you were to ask us what was out favorite Robin Williams film, three will instantly pop into our mind, though in reality it would more like five: Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, and Hook. For all the laughs that he gave us, no one really knew what was going on behind closed doors.

Williams’ publicist did confirm that he had recently entered a 12-step rehab stint for drug abuse while also battling depression as of late. The comedian and Oscar winner was found dead in his home after the Marin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Williams’ house in the afternoon. He was not breathing when paramedics showed up, and was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m.

Sadly, the last time his wife, Susan Schneider saw him, was yesterday evening. Today, she had the horrible task of revealing what had happened in a statement where she asked for privacy for the family. “I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

We hope people do as she request, in memory of the man that managed not to creep us out as a cross-dressing nanny. The actor leaves behind his wife and three children.

His autopsy is scheduled to take place tomorrow, August 12 at the Marin County Coroner’s Office in San Rafael, CA.

“Genie, you’re free.” –Aladdin

Tommy Ramone Passes Away at 65

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It comes with great sadness to announce the death of punk rock legend, Tommy Ramone. Ramone, whose real name was Tom Erdelyi, died Friday at his home in the Ridgewood area of Queens, New York. He was 65. The punk rock icon had been in hospice care following treatment for bile duct cancer.

Erdelyi was one of the co-founder of the iconic punk group that helped bring in the genre that most of us love and even helped to influence many of the bands that we probably have on rotation at the moment.

Erdelyi was an intricate part of the band, writing many of the band’s early classics including “Blitzkrieg Bop,” though he only played on the band’s first three records. He left the band in 1977 to pursue a career in producing, which he had studied to do at the Record Plant studio in Manhattan. He trained to become a recording engineer. Most notably, Erdelyi prodcued The Replacement’s “Tim” in 1985. He left the band after the release of Rocket to Russia and was replaced by Marc Bell who would go one to become Marky Ramone.

The Ramones disbanded in 1996 after a show at the Palace in Hollywood. Joey Ramone died of lymphoma in 2001; Dee Dee succumbed to a drug overdose in 2002; and Johnny passed away from prostate cancer in 2004 leaving Erdelyi as the only remaining (original) member of the punk rock band.

The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Maybe all the Ramones are finally getting along and having a great time in rock and roll heaven.RIP.

GWAR Frontman’s Cause of Death Revealed

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GWAR frontman Dave Brockie, passed away in late March, but at the time of the sad news, there had been no  cause of death for the sudden passing.

Today, the official cause of death for Oderus Urungus (Brockie’s stage name) has been determined as an accidental heroin overdose, according to Richmond, Virginia CBS affiliate, WTVR.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office revealed the official cause of death was “acute heroin toxicity, means: accident.”

Brockie, who was 50 at the time of his passing, was found dead in his Richmond home by his roommate on the morning of March 23. At the time of the initial police report, they did not suspect foul play to be the cause, but they had found evidence of heroin use at the residence.

Brockie’s struggle with drugs was something that was known and was even made public back in 2010 when Decibel wrote a profile about the musician. The writer even wrote in the article that he had “smoke crack” with him behind a dumpster.

With Brockie’s death some question arose including what would become of their beloved GWAR-B-Q and that tour that was being hinted at by Brockie himself on Twitter back in January. The tour, we assume, has been put on the back burner, indefinitely, while the GWAR-B-Q will go on as scheduled on August 16.

The band revealed plans to establish an arts-based charity in his memory, the Dave Brockie Fund. Friends of Brockie have also joined forces to start a fundraiser to fulfill one of the late musician’s dream; to open the GWARBar in the city that he loved, Richmond.

They are aiming to raise $50,000 and currently have obtained $12,714 from donations on their IndieGoGo page.

Miss May I Release Second Statement About Fan Who Died

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This Saturday will mark one week since Miss May I fan, Alberto Scott passed away following the band’s show at the Beacon in New York. After attending ths concert, Scott reportedly collapse outside the venue, not making it.

A few days after the event, the band released a statement about his passing and just last night, they released another one, more lengthy one.

The full statememt can be read below, though the only part of the statement that could have been left out, in many people’s opinions and our own, is the part about Rise of the Lion‘s Billboard chart placement, even if they do dedicate it to Scott and fans like him who made it possible.

“Hey everyone, apologies for the radio silence these last couple of days. After what happened we’ve all taken some time to reflect but we had to speak up today to give our heartfelt thanks.

First and foremost, to those who’ve reached out to offer their sympathies or who’ve kept Alberto and his family in their thoughts and prayers. In particular to all those who donated to his family; after only a few days they have almost reached their fundraising goal. If you can spare any amount, no matter how small, it will be greatly appreciated. You can do so here .

We’re also looking into an auction. Something unique from the band will be listed online in the coming weeks; with the proceeds to go to Alberto’s family also. More news on that very soon.

Lastly, we just got the news today that Rise Of The Lion charted at number 21 in the Billboard Chart. We couldn’t be more appreciative for each and every one of you who made this happen for us. Every track on the new record was written with our fans in mind and, after the events this week, it’s been an extremely emotional few days. With that in mind, we’d like to dedicate this to the memory of Alberto.

Levi, Ryan, Justin, BJ & Jerod x”

Kurt Cobain Biographer Claims Courtney Love Wrote Wallet Letter

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Last week, the Seattle Police Department made the full letter that was found in Kurt Cobain’s wallet following his death public. Up until that point, only a partial piece of the letter had been released, but following the new information, almost everyone is starting to wonder if the note had actually been written by the late Nirvana frontman.

The letter, according to Kurt Cobain biographer, Charles R. Cross, was actually written by the frontman’s wife, Courtney Love. Since his death, there has been a lot of speculation and crazy conspiracies that Love had been the one to kill Cobain; not a suicide like it was ruled.

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The full letter seems to poke fun at their marriage which included more downs than up with the exception of the couple’s only daughter, Frances Bean. Many shook off the letter as the couple’s dark sense of humor, but according to The Guardian, Cross had confirmed that the letter was penned by Love.

According to Cross, Love herself, emailed him, admitting that she had been the one to write the quickly jotted down statement. Cross’ biography about the late rocker, Heavier Than Heaven was released back in 2001. Love was recently seen with former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic when the iconic grunge band was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month.

Miss May I Fan Dies After Show

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Miss May I might be finishing up their current small venue tour in support of their new album, Rise of the Lion, but sadly, this weekend something happened to one of their fans during the show. Alberto Scott, a 21-year-old fan of the metalcore band collapsed outside of The Studio at Webster Hall in New York this past Saturday.

Originally, it was reported that he had hit his head on the floor when he staged dived from the stage into the audience. Many venues, due to this consequence, have become aware of it and began to enforce a zero tolerance for stage diving (posted signs and security at the foot of the stage have been added to several venues).

The BrooklynVegan was the first to report about the incident, getting first hand accounts on what happened, with bystanders even claiming that he had not hit his head and collapsed like it had been assumed, but rather it all happened outside the venue.

Webster Hall did post on Facebook that “the patron in question did not die while stage diving. The patron collapsed while exiting the venue, as video footage and the police corroborate.”

At the moment, neither the venue or the band have released a full-length statement about the event. Last night, Miss May I did post a letter to fans, promising to release a full statement about Scott’s death, soon.

The band wrote: “Hey everyone, we are aware of the incident that occurred at Webster Hall last night and will be posting a statement shortly. However, we are awaiting further information regarding the situation before we are able to make a full statement.”

According to many of Scott’s friend who quickly went online to post their condolences and sentiments about his passing, revealed that he lived and breathed music and even had posted a picture of him with Miss May I vocalist, Levi Benton.

He is survived by his sister who lives in Florida.

GWAR to Build Monument in Honor of Fallen Frontman

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GWAR have revealed that they have plans to erect a monument in honor of their late frontman, Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus. Brockie sadly passed away last month, though at the time there was no confirmed cause of death.

In honor of him, the remaining members of GWAR have launched the Dave Brockie Foundation in order to help raise funds for the monument as well as to help promote music and performance in the arts. 

In a video statement which can be seen below, the band reveal their plan for the monument and the new foundation they have founded. There is also a very touching part in which they reveal what Brockie would have thought of this. “Just face it – Oderus would order you to be present and pay tribute to Dave Murray Brockie, his own personal slave! Oderus did always consider you his children, but I know for a fact that Dave thought of our fans as his family.”

The current plan is to build the monument in Richmond, VA where Brockie lived and sadly passed away. Fans of the band who feel generous and would like to donate to the monument found, you can head on over to the official page for that on GWAR’s website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT-n5ge7gCQ

As recent as January, Brockie was on Twitter telling fans to keep their eye open because there was a lot of good news coming their way, more specifically a tour in celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary and their yearly GWAR-B-Q which was slated to take place in August. 

GWAR Frontman Found Dead

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GWAR fans we are sad to report that frontman, Oderus Urungus, also known as Dave Brockie, has passed away at the age of 50. The founder of the Richmond, VA based band was discovered by his roommate last night.

The band’s management team will reportedly hold a press conference later on today to officially confirm his death. At the time, police claim there is no evidence of foul play when the body was discovered between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. last night.

“Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” former Gwar bassist Mike Bishop told Style Weekly, the Richmond publication that broke the news. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.”

Bishop continued, “his penchant for scatological humors belied a lucid wit. He was a criminally underrated lyricist and hard rock vocalist, one of the best, ever! A great front man, a great painter, writer, he was also a hell of a bass guitarist. I loved him. He was capable of great empathy and had a real sense of justice.”

Lamb of Godd frontman, Randy Blythe took to his Instagram to express his reaction to his fallen Richmond brother: “Dave TRULY WAS ONE OF A KIND. I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him. That’s VERY HARD TO SAY.” Blythe continued: “My band learned how to become a real touring band from GWAR. They gave us our first shot at this thing.”

Brockie’s passing comes three years after the passing of GWAR guitarist Flattus Maximus, also known as Cory Smoot. Like Brockie, Smoot was discovered dead at age 34. The band has a slew of upcoming events including their fourth annual GWAR-B-Q in Richmond on August 17th. Back in January,  Brockie has tweeted for fans to keep an eye out for upcoming news from them in celebration of their 30th anniversary (he had said someething about a tour). Now, there’s no word on what’s going to happen.

Two Dead, 23 Injured in Crash at SXSW

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UPDATE:

The identity of the two victims as well as the driver of the vehicle have been revealed.

The first victim of the crash this morning was 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr. Craenmehr’s identity had been confirmed by his employer, Massive Music where he worked as a creative director at their Amsterdam office.

The Travis County Medical Examiner identified the other person who died as 27-year-old Jamie Ranae West of Austin. West and her husband, Evan West, were both riding the moped that was struck by the vehicle; he was one of the many that were hospitalized.

As for the driver who caused this complete fiasco, he has been identified as Rashad Charjuan Owens, a 21-year-old from Killeen, Texas. The San Antonio Express-News revealed that he has a hefty criminal record.

In 2010, he was convicted of criminal trespassing in Killeen and then the following year was charged with driving under the influence of marijuana in Fairbanks, Alaska. e was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident which was then dropped. He claimed that he lost control of the SUV he was driving and “drove off because he didn’t know he had to call police.”

More information has also been revealed, including that Owens was set to perform at one of the events scheduled to take place at Club 1808 near Chicon Street and 12th; the crash occurred near East 11th.

Lamar Wilson, a man claiming to be the suspect’s brother, said that Owens was a musician who rapped and produced under the names, KillingAllBeatz or K.A.B254.

As of now, Owens is going to be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

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South By Southwest is supposed to be a week full of films, music, interactive conferences and fun, but early this morning the situation went turned from enjoyable to deadly.

According to police reports, at around 12:30 a.m., a driver crashed into a group of people who were standing outside the Mohawk at 9th and Red River, killing two and injuring another 23. Of those 23, five of them are reportedly in critical condition.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a press conference that two people who were pronounced dead on the scene; one was a male on a bicycle from the Netherlands and the other was a female riding a moped.

Police reported that the man had pulled into a near-by gas station in his silver Toyota in an effort to evade an officer that was working a D.U.I. checkpoint. He move his vehicle through several parked car and then took off at a high speed in the wrong direction of a one-way street. He then proceeded to turn right on Red River Street, crashing though a previously set up barricade, narrowly missing a police office standing post.

He then went on to hit the moped, a taxi, a van, and other vehicles, as well as pedestrians waiting in front of The Mohawk where Tyler, the Creator was slated to perform, before jumping out of his car and running away. The driver was chased by police and eventually tasered then taken into custody.

The driver is facing two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

SXSW Release Statement About Early Morning Crash

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By now, many media outlets have already reported about the tragedy that took place early this morning at Austin’s South By Southwest Festival. The police department and many artists have taken to the internet to speak out about the tragedy that occurred.

Just a short while ago, organizers behind the annual event released their own statement on behalf of themselves and all the staff about what happened. The statement, though short also revealed that one of the victims was identified as Steven Craenmehr, MassiveMusic’s Amsterdam-based creative director and that all events will still be going as scheduled unless they are told otherwise.

“The SXSW staff is stunned and deeply moved by the events of last night.

Dozens of us were on the scene when the incident occurred and we worked closely with APD to create a perimeter around the area, turning back all the visitors spilling out of the clubs who headed north on Red River Street.

To avoid confusion we plan to carry on with our scheduled daytime events at the Austin Convention Center in order to serve our tens of thousands of participants during this tragic time.

All of the SXSW staff and volunteers reported for their regular duties this morning and will continue working today on the event.

We are contacting all of the venues to find out if they have made any decisions about their operations that might impact our visitors.

Despite all of our preparations for dealing with a major incident during SXSW, nothing could really prepare us for how this feels. As much as we would like to just go home and spend time absorbing the shock of this horrific event, we feel our best use is to continue to operate today.

One of the fatalities was a SXSW registrant, a gentleman from the Netherlands.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and with the families of the fatalities.”

The Mohawk, the venue where the crash occurred in front of, has revealed they will be cancelling all afternoon events while events for this evening are still pending.