Dave Gregg, who played guitar with the Canadian hardcore punk band D.O.A. during the 80’s, died on Sunday after suffering a heart attack at the age of 54.
According to Yahoo News, Gregg and his wife were visiting family in Vancouver when the guitarist started not feeling well and laid down to rest. His wife checked on him later and found him unconscious. Gregg was transported to the hospital in a coma and went into liver and kidney failure, passing away at 7:15 PM.
D.O.A., who are recognized as one of the early developers of hardcore punk, started out in Vancouver as The Skulls. After the breakup, member Joey Shithead formed D.O.A. with Chuck Biscuits and Randy Rampage.
Dave Gregg joined the band in 1980 in time to record the band’s first full length album, Something Better Change followed by their classic album Hardcore ’81. He was with the band for eight years, leaving in 1988 when his close friend and band manager Ken Lester was fired.
Gregg later became a member of the bands The Real McKenzies and Grooveaholics. Later in life, he worked in music merchandising.
Joe Shithead Keithley penned a wonderful tribute to Gregg on the Sudden Death Records site:
D.O.A. guitarist Dave Gregg – Rest in Peace
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.
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
Read more at VVNMusic.com
Stay updated with news on Tom Petty and other music news with your free Noise11.com daily music news email alert. Subscribe to the Noise11 Music Newsletter here