Banner Thomas, the bassist for Molly Hatchet during their most successful years, died on Monday (April 10) after battling pneumonia. He was 63.
The band issued a statement saying:
Molly Hatchet bassist, Banner Thomas passed away this morning. From 1978 – 1983, Banner played on the first four MH albums, including the hit Flirtin’ With Disaster. He left the band and was replaced by Riff West, also deceased, who played on the next 5 albums. Tim Lindsey has been the bassist for nearly fifteen years and continues to carry the torch forward. Our prayers and condolences extend to Banners family and friends. RIP
The earliest version of Molly Hatchet was formed in 1971 although the band was a bit in flux until they became official later in the decade. Thomas was the original bassist for the band and played on Molly Hatchet (1978), Flirtin’ With Disaster (1979), Beatin’ the Odds (1980) and Take No Prisoners (1981), the four most successful albums of the band’s career with the first and third going Platinum and Flirtin’ With Disaster scoring double-Platinum. Thomas also contributed twelve of the songs across the four albums including Flirtin’ With Disaster. Thomas left in November of 1981 after having a disagreement with bandmate Dave Hlubek.
Thomas eventually relocated to the Jacksonville, FL where he started the group Big Engine and later played with Those Guys.