It’s been adequately demonstrated that on a hypothetical Venn diagram, this blog falls within the sets of both “old school D&D” and “punk rock.” Both came to prominence during the 1970s and both have had a tremendous influence upon yours truly. Unfortunately, the two have another commonality: the passing of their elder statesman. That punk even has any elder statesmen remaining is surprising enough, but that doesn’t make losing another any less somber of an event. And, as Pitchfork is reporting, Derf Scratch, the original bass player for the seminal Los Angeles punk band FEAR has joined that ever-increasing list of dead punk rockers.
There’s a very nice summation of his career over on The AV Club, so I’ll merely state that FEAR is one of my top ten favorite bands to come out of the L.A. punk scene. Longtime readers might remember that I saw the current lineup of FEAR play just last summer. Although not as musically competent as some artists or socially aware as others, FEAR was a band that always evoked a response from its audience—and that’s what every artist hopes to do. It also was at its best when original members like Derf and Philo were on the band’s roster. Derf also gave us the saxophone track on the very anti-New York City “New York’s Alright (If You Like Saxophones)”—a song which I should theoretically despise as a native New Yorker, but nevertheless brings a smile to my face.
Here's to Derf.