billy wolf r.i.p.
Awww, crud. Hideaki Sekiguchi, bass player for the insanely cool Japanese lo-fi band Guitar Wolf, died March 31 of a heart attack. He was only 38 years old.
The hard-rocking trio, which is signed to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) affiliate Ki/oon Records, formed in 1987 and quickly made a name for itself with its hyper-energetic, over-the-top brand of stripped-down punk rock, both in Japan and overseas.
In the U.S., Guitar Wolf's albums have been released by such labels as Goner, Matador and Narnack.
Sekiguchi's memorial vigil will take place Tuesday (April 5) at Tokyo's Rinkai Funeral Hall, followed by his funeral the next morning at the same location.
The band announced the immediate cancellation of its upcoming shows, but plans after that are unclear at this time.
An Australian music site quoted a statement by the band's lead singer and guitarist, known as Serji:
Billy was a brother, one of the wolfpack. He rocked harder than anyone in the room, and I would feed off that energy. He was a great friend. Lately, Billy was acting a little odd, but said nothing was wrong. Just like him - the hardass. I just can't believe it, he was there from the beginning. I know Billy's up there in heaven rocking out, keeping those motherfuckers up all night. I bet he'll start a band with Joey Ramones and Elvis. He'd love that. Sorry but all gigs are cancelled. I hope you understand. I just don't know what I'm going to do now. It was always me and Billy. He would want me to keep rocking, and I just might. Anyway, I've got lots of stuff to do, and think about. I love you Billy, God speed.
This is sad news indeed. In memory of Sekiguchi, I plan to watch the band's wonderful appearance in the great film Wild Zero again. Planet Swank extends its condolences to Guitar Wolf fans worldwide.
(via The Adventures of the Smart Patrol; cross-posted at Destroy All Monsters)