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Johnny Strike of ’70s punks Crime has passed away


Johnny Strike (real name Gary John Bassett), frontman of ’70s-era San Francisco punk band Crime, has passed away at age 70 after a battle with cancer. As KQED points out, the news was broken by Johnny Strike’s publisher Michael Lucas, who wrote:

Johnny Strike, author and cofounder of San Francisco’s First and (Still) Only Rock and Roll Band, CRIME, is dead after a long battle with cancer that he preferred to keep private.

As per his request, no official memorial service will be held, but I encourage anyone who cares enough (and you all should) to do whatever seems appropriate.

This makes it official, as far as I’m concerned: San Francisco just isn’t San Francisco anymore. SAN FRANCISCO’S DOOMED!

Crime released just three 7″s before breaking up in 1982. The first, released in 1976, had the single “Hot Wire My Heart,” which would later be covered by Sonic Youth on their 1987 album Sister. A posthumous compilation album, San Francisco’s Doomed, came out in 1991, and other compilations and bootlegs followed over the years. The band reunited in 2006, and in 2008 they released Exalted Masters, an album with new recordings of older material. Johnny Strike was also an author, and published the fiction books Ports of Hell and A Loud Humming Sound Came From Above.

Rest in peace, Johnny.

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