Monday, March 31, 2014

RIP former DOA guitarist Dave Gregg

Dave Gregg in action with DOA. (Alison Braun photo)

Former ultra-talented and raging DOA guitarist Dave Gregg passed away over the weekend. He was 55.

Here's a eulogy from DOA leader Joe Shithead Keithley that Bill from Sudden Death Records (DOA's label) sent us and which Joe posted on the band's Facebook page today:

It is with unbelievable sorrow that I have to talk about the passing of Dave Gregg. He died of a heart attack this past weekend. I can't even come close to being able to express strong enough condolences to his wife Cathy and the rest of Dave's family.

Dave was a member of D.O.A. from 1980-88 and played some screaming guitar licks on the following albums: "Something Better Change," "Hardcore '81," "War on 45," "Let's Wreck The Party," "True North Strong and Free" and finally on "Murder."

He was a great guitarist and an unbelievable showman. But more importantly he was genuinely nice guy and a caring human being, who had one of the most wicked senses of humor I have ever come across. On long D.O.A. tours, Dave (usually the overnight driver) and I along with our comrades Chuck Biscuits, Randy Rampage, Ken Lester, Dimwit (R.I.P.), Brian "Wimpy Roy" Goble, Greg "Peckerwood" James and Jon Card would while away the hours with almost endless conversation. But it usually came down to Dave and I still gabbing into the wee hours. We would scheme about how to change the world and possible wild scientific breakthroughs as we endlessly put up really shitty music on the radio (not much has changed).

Dave and I also became very familiar with prices of every kind of crop grown across America and many a gospel preacher on that same radio in the Dodge van we called the Blue Bullet. At one point when D.O.A. had been playing close to 10 years, Dave and I calculated that we had spent four of those 10 years in vans, traveling to shows. As Dave drove, he would furiously work his way through bag after bag of spits (sunflower seeds), he would deposit the shells in the door sill of the driver side door until the pile would reach a height of about 12 inches, that was a badge of honor.

Photo of Dave Gregg by Thomas Siegel in 1987.

On our first tour with Dave, he got really drunk at the second show and forgot about half the arrangements. As he stood on the opposite side of the circular bar at the venue we had
just played, he smirked at me with a particularly dazed look. I realized I had to get him to shape up, so I threw my 3/4 full can of beer across the bar and nailed him in the forehead. Dave rarely forgot an arrangement after that and went on to become a consummate musician and performer.

I could probably write a book about funny Dave Gregg stories and maybe even promote his one-man organization: The New Spartans! LOL. I really wish I had one more chance to sit down with him and cover some of that ground again and explore new avenues of thought, but I can't and that sucks.

Dave, we will all miss you tremendously, but you will live on in our hearts.
Long live the spirit of Dave Gregg !!!

Joe Shithead Keithley - March 31st, 2014

Here's an obituary from the Vancouver Sun:

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