Guitarist Dave Gregg, who played with the pioneering Vancouver-based hardcore band D.O.A. through most of the 1980s, died from a massive coronary on March 30. He was 54.
Gregg and his wife lived in New York, and were in Vancouver visiting family, his close friend Ian Ross (ex-Curious George) told Yahoo Music. Gregg was planning to see his father, who had been ill, but first they stopped to see his wife Cathy's mom. "Dave had coffee, but went to bed early because he wasn't feeling well," Ross said. "After dinner, Cathy went to check on her husband and found him unconscious. She called an ambulance and he was rushed to a hospital."
Doctors determined Gregg had suffered a massive coronary, then went into a coma. He was put on life support but died of liver and kidney failure at 7:15 on March 30.
"He was doing well and it seemed like he was in okay shape and taking care of himself," said D.O.A. vocalist and lead guitarist Joe Keithley, owner of the band’s label Sudden Death. "It was really sad and surprising. I lost a really great friend."
Gregg joined D.O.A. as a second guitarist in 1980 and played on the band's full-length debut, "Something Better Change, as well as the highly influential follow-up, "Hardcore '81." He performed on three more albums, but left in 1988 to pursue other interests. In 1989 Gregg produced Zale Dallen's album "Terminal City Ricochet." He later played in the funk band the Groovaholics.
"Dave is a pillar for all of us in the Vancouver music scene," Ross said. "He played in a lot of different bands and has the respect of the entire community. He was an incredibly kind, caring person and he loved music so much"
"Dave and D.O.A. made a huge impact on both of us as young punk rockers," said Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen and his wife and manager Angelina in an exclusive joint statement. "And D.O.A.'s music stands true to this day. But more importantly, Dave was kind-hearted, patient, and generous to anyone who crossed his path. This is a very deep loss to our community."
To the many people in the punk scene that knew him, Gregg earned a reputation for being one of the nicest people in hardcore. "Dave would always lend other musicians his guitars or amplifiers," Ross said. "In the early '80s, bands would practice in his house, Fort Gore on Gore Ave in Chinatown. D.O.A. used to play there in the living room. There was no plaster in the walls at Fore Gore because they took that and the lathe off and burned them for heat. Seven Seconds and Dead Kennedys crashed there and Dave would give up his bed and feed people. He was an extraordinary guy."
Although Gregg remained active musically, jamming with friends and ex-bandmates, in recent years he worked selling t-shirts for major merchandising companies. "He would always phone our old D.O.A. mates and get them into shows and get them backstage," said Keithley. "He never forgot about anybody."