from Addicted to Noise
April 2, 1996

Ex-Gun Club Leader Dead


Jeffrey Lee Pierce, leader of the early '80s L. A. -based Gun Club, a
group probably best known for their brilliant debut album, Fire Of Love,
which included the devastating "Sex Beat," died on Mar. 31. What follows
is a remembrance, written the day Pierce died, from his friend, Fred
"Phast Phreddie" Patterson

A few days ago Jeffrey Lee Pierce, the lead
singer, sometimes guitarist and creative force of the Gun Club, suffered
a blood clot to his brain while he was in Utah, where he was visiting
his father. Surgery kept him alive for a few more days. About 30 minutes
ago his mother called to inform me that he passed away.

I have known Jeffrey since about 1977, when he worked behind the counter
at the Bomp Records store in the San Fernando Valley. Somehow, he and I
got to be close friends. When I moved to Hollywood the next year he
always seemed to be over, drinking my beer and listening to my 45s. We
always had a good time.

We used to hunt down records together. We would go on these all-day
shopping sprees, drive out to Glendale or down to Long Beach or South
Central L.A. On one of our trips we found a sealed copy of James Brown's
Live At the Apollo Volume 2. We took it to my house and played it all
the way through. It was a revelation to us. That record changed our lives.

Our friendship was based around music. He turned me on to Burning Spear.
I turned him on to Sun Ra and Wynonie Harris. One night he and Joe Nolte
of The Last got drunk and decided to put a band together to back me.
Thus was born Phast Phreddie & Thee Precisions. Not a big thing to you,
perhaps, but it was to me.

We rehearsed about a dozen times, after which he started the Creeping
with Brian Tristan on guitar and Don Snowden (then writing for
the L.A. Times) on bass. They played a gig at a joint in China Town and
somehow Jeffrey managed to piss off the management of the venue. Afraid
that they wouldn't get booked there again, he changed the band's name to
one that Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks came up with: The Gun Club.
(He kept the Creeping Ritual name as the name of his publishing company).

I got the Gun Club a gig at Madam Wong's in Santa Monica, where Lux &
Ivy of the Cramps came and saw them. They asked Brian to try out for the
Cramps and they changed his name to Kid Congo Powers.

The Gun Club was a great Rock 'n' Roll band. Although the first album, Fire
Of Love
is unquestionably the best, all of the records have merit. I am proud
to have contributed to Las Vegas Story. I played a little wooded flute on it.

Flash forward... For the last several years, Jeffrey didn't seem to be
himself. One time he'd be so whacked out from boozing; another time he'd
be feverish, sweating waterfalls, from a virus he'd picked up during a
visit to Southeast Asia; he would just seem crazed and reckless; when he
was in New York about a year ago he was overweight and seemed tired,
like an old man. Every time I'd leave him thinking that it would be the
last time I would ever see him.

I spoke with him on the phone in early February. He was at his father's
house in Utah, apparently drying out. He was lucid, and spoke intelligently.
We laughed and joked about things. We remembered old times. He talked
about his future plans: Move to NYC and put together a new Gun Club.
It was the first time in years that I didn't get the feeling that he was
going to die soon. I was excited, hoping to see my friend again.



The future is not so exciting now. I will never see my friend again.


taken from