Former Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers bass-player Billy Rath has died after a long illness.
Rath had been in ill-health for some time and left a hospice to be at home with his family in Boston.
Rath replaced Richard Hell in the Heartbreakers in 1976, recorded their debut album “LAMF” and remained in the ranks for the band’s innumerable reunion appearances.
He was briefly a member of Iggy Pop's touring band before disappearing from the music scene in the 1980s.
Clean and sober, he studied psychology and theology, worked as a drug counsellor and lived in Massachusetts. In 2010, he formed Billy Rath’s Street Pirates, a line-up of which he was still playing with and recording until falling ill.
Rath’s passing leaves guitarist Walter Lure as the sole surviving member of the classic Heartbreakers line-up.
Band leader Deniz Tek has responded to fan commentary about Chris Masuak's omission from the touring line-up of Radio Birdman. In a brief Facebook posting this afternoon, Tek said:
"Thank you, all those giving your support ! We are totally stoked to be able to go out and play again. To those disappointed with the lineup change, I understand - and yes, it will be different without Chris. The decision to go on without him was not taken lightly. We will not discuss the reasons for it in public."
Chris Masuak's exclusion from the Radio Birdman Australian tour has prompted an immediate reaction from fans with expressions of disbelief on social media and the launch of an online petition.
The petition is live here.
In other news, supports have been announced for all shows except Adelaide with Hard-Ons and HITS on most bills:
Friday 31st October, 2014 – NEWCASTLE – Hard-Ons and Hurricanes
Saturday 1st November, 2014 – SYDNEY – Hard-Ons and HITS
Sunday 2nd November, 2014 – MELBOURNE - HITS
Monday 3rd November, 2014 – MELBOURNE - HITS
Friday 7th November, 2014 – BRISBANE - HITS
Saturday 8th November, 2014 – ADELAIDE - tba
Sunday 9th November, 2014 – PERTH – The Volcanics
The announcement of an Australian tour by a re-tooled Radio Birdman has provoked a savage reaction from overlooked guitarist Chris Masuak.
Speaking from his home in Spain and amplifying his comments via his Facebook page, Masuak described his exclusion as “cowardly and vindictive”.
“Despite my declared readiness, willingness, and assurances to put the band's interests and reputation well ahead of any personal differences I am ‘not invited to participate’ in the upcoming tour and promotion of the ultimate release of a band I have been associated with for 40 years,” Masuak said.
A surprise tour by a re-configured line-up of Radio Birdman has been announced to promote the forthcoming box set. The line-up features foundation members Rob Younger, Deniz Tek, Pip Hoyle with Jim Dickson and other friends.
Friday, 31st October 2014
Cambridge Hotel - Newcastle NSW
Saturday 1st November 2014
Manning Bar - Sydney NSW
Sunday 2nd November 2014
Corner Hotel - Melbourne VIC
Monday 3rd November 2014
Corner Hotel - Melbourne VIC
Friday 7th November 2014
The Hi-Fi - Brisbane QLD
Saturday 8th November 2014
The Gov - Adelaide SA
Sunday 9th November 2014
Rosemount Hotel - Perth WA
Tickets: www.heatseeker.com.au \ www.oztix.com.au
and Heatseeker/Oztix Retail Outlets
Australia's iconic Sunnyboys love a party and they're inviting their fans to one on October 8 with a one-off gig in hometown Sydney.
Wednesday, October 8 at The Factory Theatre is where you'll need to be. It is a limited capacity event and tickets will sell fast.
To ensure your best chance to secure a ticket all you need do is sign up to the mailing list for promoters Feel Presents. The link is here. You'll receive an email on Friday, August 15 with the final ticketing details.