D Generation’s Howie Pyro dies at 61
Howie Pyro -- bassist of D Generation, renowned DJ, co-founder of Coney Island High, and member of Danzig's band and several other groups -- has passed away at age 61, following a long battle with liver disease. A statement reads:
Howie Pyro died peacefully on May 4, 2022 from complications due to COVID-19-related pneumonia, following a liver transplant and long battle with liver disease. The beloved and influential bassist, DJ scene-maker and troublemaker, devoted his life to everything weird, wonderful and wild in music.
Pyro started out in the 1970s at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB as founder of the first underage punk band, The Blessed, and was a member of Freaks, The Chelsea Smiles, D Generation and Danzig. He co-founded the Greendoor Party in New York City, the infamous club Coney Island High, and was a member of the Blacklips Performance Cult. He collaborated with Johnny Thunders, Ronnie Spector, Rancid, Joey Ramone, Genesis P-Orridge, The Misfits, Debbie Harry, Kid Congo Powers, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Jayne County and Alan Vega.
A world-renowned DJ, Pyro hosted the groundbreaking show, Intoxica! Radio, an infectious two hours of primitive 45 RPM records from the deep underbelly of the original rock n roll era.
He is survived by his sister Robin Hartmann, Rory and Leah Hartmann, former wife Andrea Kusten Matthews, and many cousins.
In honor of Howie, please consider donating to the UCLA Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation.
Howie Pyro will be laid to rest at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In the near future, there will be a big celebration of his life.
Howie's D Generation bandmate Jesse Malin wrote:
This is the hardest post I have ever had to write. Howie Pyro my best friend and brother has passed away. He fought real hard right till the end. He changed my life and so many others in ways I can’t even begin to say. We made our world together. From Whitestone, Queens to Madison Square Garden and every crazy, dirty little place in between. I learned so much from him. He made this planet a much better, cooler, weirder, and more beautiful place. For decades he impacted so many different kinds of people and so many different scenes all over with his style, his taste, his music, his knowledge, his Art, his fashion, his attitude, his humor, his records, his movies, his bravery, his swagger, his smile, his heart, and his compassion. Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket, a shirt, donated, said a prayer, or sent a message to help him out. He really got to see the love in a huge way from all of you and it meant so much to him. His importance and impact will never, ever be forgotten. I will love you forever my Dear Doctor Howard.
When Howie was fighting for his life, several musicians and other public figures paid tribute to him, including Debbie Harry, Lenny Kaye, ANOHNI, John Travolta, Jimmy G or Murphy's Law, Theo Kogan of Lunachicks, Donita Sparks of L7, Matt Sorum of Guns N' Roses, and more. Read those tributes here.
Rest in peace, Howie.