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Goner Message Board / ???? / VERY BAD NEWS- RIP Billy, Bass Wolf.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 4:45 am
Billy, the one and only Bass Wolf, has passed away from a heart attack in Tokyo. He truly lived LAMF and was loved by all who met him.

Rest in peace.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 4:47 am
that's fuckin terrible. i'm so sorry. it just ain't right.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 5:13 am

Seems appropriate I hear it here first. Many thanks Eric.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 5:34 am
Really sorry to read this. Didn't he just get back from tour?
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 5:44 am
That really sucks.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 5:49 am
last year, i finally had the chance to see guitar wolf live - bass wolf seemed like a real nice guy - a real bummer!!
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 6:14 am
I saw them less than a week ago in Nashville. Billy destroyed his bass and kicked in a monitor, and I left with a piece of his broken cord. This is the worst news Ive heard in a long time. fuck.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:19 am
this is terrible. and they were due to play here in two weeks. i was fangin'.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:30 am
Man - just found out. Was firing off an email about the Australian tour that rigid speaks of.

To think, I was just on radio three hours ago talking the tour up and playing tunes off Loverock.

vale billy wolf.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:54 am
Bummer bummer bummer.

I will watch Wild Zero in tribute.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:54 am
I just came home from Texas to find April and Andria waiting for me, with the worst news I can imagine hearing. My heart is broken.
Eric, at least we all had 2 amazing days with them, and for that we are so lucky. I'm afraid Seiji and Toru will never be the same. I hope I'm wrong.
I'm still in shock I think.
Maybe we should have a small memorial service.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 8:05 am
this is April.I cannot believe that i was so lucky to have these boys,my friends for 13 yrs, stay here for my birthday last week. I am in shock still.I spoke to Toru tonight and I am at a loss. I love these guys. I pray that God holds them close tonight .
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 8:38 am | Edited by: mister_x
this news feels almost unreal. i was lucky enough to get to do an interview and hang with Billy, Seiji, and Toru at the houston show.

this friday is definately going to me a one man memorial service of me and a six pack of asahi watching wild zero with an aditional rule. whenever Billy appears on screen take a drink.

i think i'm gonna need more beer.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 8:53 am
Very sorry to hear about that...
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 8:58 am
Mike Hurt- I have a picture of you and Billy that I'm sure you'll want-send me your email address and I'll pass it on.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 11:29 am
FUCK! Man, he was an awesome man. Truly a class act. Fuck!
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 11:32 am
Saw this posted over on garagepunk which is from the board on Guitar Wolf's site.

We regret to inform you that Hideaki Sekiguchi, a.k.a. Billy has passed away by heart attack in the morning of March 31st., at the age of 38.

Vigil and funeral information is as follows:
Vigil: 18:00p.m.`(non-relatives 19:00p.m.`) on Tuesday, April 5
Funeral: 10:00a.m.`11:00a.m., The Hearse to Leave at 11:00a.m. on
Wednesday, April 6
Place: Rinkaisaijo http://www.rinkaisaijo.or.jp
1-3-1, Tokai, Ohta-Ku, Tokyo
Phone: 81-3-5755-2833
*Since there is NO parking lot, we kindly ask you not to drive to the place.

We announce that all shows will be cancelled.
We hope to have your understanding.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 11:47 am
very, very sad news indeed! RIP Billy.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 12:35 pm
Truly is a great loss... I was listenin' to Wild Zero when I got outta my truck this mornin' and come into my office to this.... I am truly grateful that I got to see Guitarwolf live and the carnage that they brought to every show. Billy was a super nice guy when I met him in NYC and he will truly be missed! Godspeed, Billy.....
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 1:51 pm
this sucks. I just met him a couple weeks ago.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 1:58 pm
Jeez, they just tour and it's over. I had a really strange feeling when I decided not to make the trip to Atlanta to see them...like anticipating some huge regret.

And they were getting more well-deserved attention all the time.


My favorite Billy quote is from an interview at

Q: "If Rock N Roll was a food what would it be and how would it taste?"
Billy: "Pussy!"

Rock on, Billy.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 2:53 pm
Billy was a great guy. And he had a kid too (maybe 2-3 yrs old by now). Sad and frightening news, for sure. Condolences to his family.
Farewell, Billy. We'll all miss you.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 2:55 pm
He was just in town and so full of life.

Posted: Mar 31, 2005 3:05 pm
this is a horrible loss
such a great guy and total rock'n'roll
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 3:25 pm
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 3:29 pm
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 3:31 pm
Billy once tricked me into eating horse meat. Truly the joker of the bunch. I loved him and will miss him.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 3:51 pm
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 4:02 pm
I remember when Guitar Wolf played Memphis maybe 2 years ago, we went back to Alicja's house with the band and partied for a while. We all passed out on the floor, and woke up early because we were freezing to death on those hardwood floors. We were all groggy and cold, scratching our heads, and we looked over at Billy who has somehow obtained about 10 blankets and 10 pillows and is sleeping like a baby with a smile on his face! Somehow he managed to get every single blanket and pillow in the entire goddamned house. He was so cool we couldn't steal his blankets so we just started drinking beers instead. After everyone woke up we went to Cozy Corner. The end.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 4:09 pm
That's so sad. I was lucky enough to see 'em a couple of times. Too bad it was many years back. I was hoping to catch 'em again in the near future..
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 4:36 pm
I can not beleive this. I will never forgive myself for not going to the show last week. I had to work. I always figured that there was next year. Their last visit, I sat at the bar at Sekesui with Billy and we had the best time talking about his baby. I am devastated. RIP Billy. You will be missed!!!
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 5:01 pm
live fast, die young and beautiful. Billy was always so happy and fun and you always felt like you were getting into something bad(in a good way)when he hung out with you. Maybe during the next Goner Fest everyone can bring some of their best Bass Wolf Pics and hang them up at the Goner store.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 5:17 pm
I'm glad all of you on here who were Billy's friends got to see him in the last weeks of his life. Guitar Wolf embraced the great (and sometimes just plain weird things) about this country that I always had a new found appreciation for the USA after each Guitar Wolf story I heard. Never met them, but I love their music, attitude, and style.

RIP Billy
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 6:11 pm
I don't know what to say. My condolences to his family and friends.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 6:38 pm
-Rock-N-Roll Billy!
So many good times were had drinking with this man back in the Gallery/Normal, Il. days. I feel lucky to have seen him one last time. You're all right, he did seem like the jokester of the bunch, all ways up fer trouble. Everyone, take a page from Billy's r-n-r book,...live it up!! Who knows what's around the next turn.
-R.I.P Billy
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 6:48 pm
I can't believe this. Terrible news.

Long live rock'n'roll.

Rest In Peace, Brother.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 6:50 pm
Just saw them last week... so sad.

R.I.P. Billy
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:04 pm
I didn't know him like alot of you did, but I had many good evenings watching him play...
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:11 pm
There is an update from Seiji (translated?) on their MySpace page. Brought a few tears to my eyes.
http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=11123741&Mytoken=2005033111082 3

Strange thing was Wild Zero arrived in my mailbox from Netflix last night. Will now have to honor Billy in proper fashion with a little sake, sushi and wild rocknroll.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:18 pm
Drink a Schlitz dude. That's a good eulogy linked on the mainpage.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:27 pm
man, that just about brought tears to my eyes too. this really sucks.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 7:48 pm | Edited by: eric o
this is from their myspace page:

3/31/05 Update - Billy's Passing

This is never easy. Please excuse me if I start making no sense. Hideaki Sekiguchi, AKA Billy, has left this world this morning, due to a heart attack at the age of 38. Billy was a brother, one of the wolf pack. He rocked harder than anybody in the room, and I would feed off that energy. He was a great friend, and I can't really do him justice when I'm like this. He was too young to go, he still had some rock let in him. Lately Billy was acting a little odd, he said nothing was wrong. That's just like him too, the hardass. God damn it. Some of you may have had the chance to meet Billy, you know how awesome he really was. I just can't believe it, he was there from the beginning. I know Billy's up in heaven rocking out, keeping all those mother fuckers up at night. I bet he'll start a band with Joey Ramone and Elvis. He would love that.

Sorry guys, but all shows are now cancelled. I hope you understand. Please don't flood us with letters/e-mail asking us when we will continue. I just don't know what I'm gonna do now. It was always me and Billy. He would want me to keep rocking, and I just might. Anyway, I've got lots of stuff to do, and think about. I love you Billy, god speed you.

Seiji, Guitar Wolf
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 8:56 pm
Diane on WFMU just did a nice little tribute set.....
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 9:06 pm
Oh fuck, this is the worst news!
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 10:45 pm
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 11:23 pm
So sad to hear about this. it's a grey and rainy day here in new orleans. I'm bumming out. I Met billy through playing with guitar wolf in Memphis and New Orleans numerous times, mostly through Eric O. hooking us up with them/setting the show up. often the bill was shared with the oblivians.

I loved playing with these guys and watching these guys go absolutly bezerk on stage. often the stage was a tangle of broken mikes, mike stands, chords, broken guitars and just a total mess after they played. total rock and roll destruction. they were 100 per cent into what they did. no holding back. Midnight Violence rock and roll. Totally bad asses in black leather.

I remember a show we played with them in the summer in New Orleans at Monaco Bob's. it must have been 95 degrees 90 per cent humidity and no air conditioning. but the leather jackets stayed on. INSANE. Billy was so cool the way he would pull the comb out of the back pocket and comb back that hair not between songs, but during a song! and with a snear on the face. and when the jacket came off he had the white wife-beater t-shirt and his arms were covered with those Yakuza type tatoos. total bad ass. and yet he was the nicest sweetest guy. all the guitar wolf guys are so cool and nice. in spite of thier heavy persona and very stylized look and image, they really are down to earth, great guys.
the Royal Pendletons played with alot of bands, and there are 3 types...
1. bands that you play with that you don't like and they don't like you. enough said of these people. screw 'em.
2. bands that are "o.k." maybe you don't click, maybe you do, but it just kind of remains a professional relationship. you might like them but you don't hang out with them. maybe they are to into thier HAIR or something.
3. the third type of band is the rare handfull of bands that you immediately click with. you go out after the show and get drunk together...they stay at your house when they are in town and vice versa. you cross paths many times and each time is a crazed fun fest. and you feel are on YOUR side. the side of the secret brotherhood of rock and roll...not wannabe rock and roll, but the real thing...you feel like they are rock and roll brothers.
I bet you can guess which of the three guitar wolf was...and I'm sure many bands felt this way about them. these guys were all for rock and roll. 100 per cent. and if you played rock and roll 100 per cent, then they are your brother. you could hang and get drunk with them. and play cards with them..billy, as I recall was a total card shark!
I just saw these guys less than two weeks ago and they were as great as ever. I'm glad I got to see billy one last time. and of course I, and all of the Pendletons are so very proud they did a version of our song "sore loser."
Godspeed you Billy....you were a guy you gave everything he could, 500 per cent into his rock and roll. you lived it. and living out your rock and roll dream and taking to the limits you guys did every time you hit the stage is worth 500 lifetimes of boredom and playing it safe.
hopefully we can share a stage again someday in the rock and roll bar in the afterlife.
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 11:25 pm
Just like everyone else, very majorly bummed on the passing of Bass Wolf.
They toured New Zealnd 2-3 times, and everyone here who saw them has great memories, experiences...
Always dug the most, their covers that I believe Billy handled pretty much most of the vocals on, "Summertime Blues", "Brand New Cadillac"...
Did he handle the vocal duties on "Sore Loser" too? Clue me in...
They were due to do shows here and in OZ later this month...
Think I'm even sadder about this, than when I heard about the passing of Johnny Cash...I mean he was older and this just seems like one of those "cut down in their prime " things...
Posted: Mar 31, 2005 11:55 pm
i was at that show in new orleans...it was rad.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 12:35 am
My favorite memory was a decade ago or so when working at Bite/Empty Bottle in Chicago....It was during the afternoon and when the front door opens on a sunny day you can really see who or what is coming in. I had never heard of or seen Guitar Wolf, but that afternoon through a burst of light in the front door walked three leather clad Japanese guys followed by three leather clad Japanese girls all holding video cameras. My buddy Matt Fields just said "That's so fucking Rock-n-Roll"....and that was hours before the first notes were even played.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 12:52 am
I spent their Toronto show last month right in front of Billy thinking how great he is on stage. Its such a shame to hear this news.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 12:53 am
I remember the first show they played at Antenna club. I think it was there first show in the states ever. I think. I remember Eric brought 'em over & kept talkin about them & was like "dude, you gotta see this band!" So I got real drunk & went. From what I remember, I almost broke the guitar they made play on the stage. Good times indeed! I think Eric has it on a videotape somewhere. Thanks Basswolf . That was one loco show man! Ari-gato!
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 12:54 am
I love you through tears...
I announced them to the stage in Hollywood at The Knitting Factory earlier this month (March 2005) as 'sonic retribution for Nagasaki and Hiroshima!'.
Billy and I yelled at each other in a fake language pre-show and we kept calling each other: 'LOSER!' (one of my lines of dialog from THE SORE LOSERS [GUITARWOLF played the 'Men in Black'] - I met the band on the set in Guntown, MS in 1996.
All three of the WOLF were sweethearts and their ALL BALLS TO THE WALLS rock shows are burned in my backbrain.
Post-show in Hollywood - I hugged all three but I literally had to extract myself from Billy's sweaty embrace - what a warm look in his eyes.
LET'S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Volcano
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 12:55 am
Soooo fucking sad....as said above, Billy and the other guys from Guitar Wolf always brought the rock'n'roll 100+% wherever they went for over 10 years...

One of the coolest guys ever....such a loss.

the following from an e-mail recieved from friends in Japan eariler today:

Billy had two kids(boy and girl).They couldn't understand
Daddy passed way.
Billy's wife Nokao told them"Daddy became twinkle star"

Kanpai Billy....R.I.P.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 1:03 am
I still can't really believe it. Such a sad day, damn.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 1:25 am
Really sad news. I've been listening to Guitar Wolf as long as any band I like. Feel very good about being able to see them one more time. The 15 hours driving was nothing. Pic from Atlanta last weekend. RIP

Posted: Apr 1, 2005 2:20 am
fucking hell. basswolf and mitch hedberg on the same day.guitar wolf played what was probably the best show i have ever seen upstairs at nicks in philadelphia around 1999. just so kick ass. i had never seen anything like it. son of a bitch.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 2:47 am
Christine came to my work tonight cuz I had to stay late and make CD's in to promos and she brought over some GW discs to play while we worked... came home and it was LOVEROCK and Cheater Slicks and Link Wray and Ramones right now... OH YEAH! THEE KUNG FU RAMONES!!! We miss you BILLY!!!!!
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 3:14 am
I remember meeting this guy in back of the Concert Cafe once, seemed very cool........he was trying to calm the lead singer down, who kept asking for heroin, I guess.......any idea of this young heart attack was drug related?
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 3:34 am
Thanks for alot of the beautiful things you guys had to say... for somebody I never knew, only met once, this has been devastating. He was truly one of or own. I had a great time tonight rockin' records and having some beers cuz that's just what we do...

I love us.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 3:40 am
...and the sensitivity comes grinding to a doltish hault...
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 3:54 am
August '97 video shoot with JMM at Maproom..what a great night....the cavernous Last Place on Earth show..Deli shows February '03 & last week...I love you Billy..LAMF!!


Posted: Apr 1, 2005 4:51 am | Edited by: leftpeg
I hung out with them once at a party in San Francisco after they'd played the Purple Onion and got brownie points by being one of the only westerners there to eat the fermented bean curd that they'd gotten as part of their $200 order from the sushi shop down the street (no horsemeat though, Greg). I remember Billy and Seiji crowded around the stove heating up their sake like they were just getting ready for the evening. Just about everyone else had already passed out.

Here's a pic of Billy and Toru from 1995 in Memphis when I went to that Dixie Fried shindig (same tour as above I believe):
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 9:43 am
<a href="http://www.bendependent.com/hangin_with_jesus/basswolf.gif">R.I.P. Bass Wolf</a>
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 9:43 am
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 9:45 am
damn i'm retarded. (R.I.P. Bass Wolf)
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 3:55 pm
I received this message from Toru yesterday:

Cheer up April!Now I'm trying to don't think about Billy.Much better now.Otherwise,my heart will break up.Cheer up!You are amerICAN.I CAN! Right? YOU CAN!!

And you know, I think Billy would be pleased to know that my ass is still stinging from the birthday spanking he gave me last week. Never has a man so enjoyed handing out the licks. In usual fashion ,he went just a little overboard - I am NOT 50 years old ! Smile and just try to remember those crazy times with that sweet SOB.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 4:30 pm
I just signed up on here so I could say that I love Billy and I love Guitar Wolf. I was lucky enough to meet them a few times and do an interview with them on 3/05/05 at the Magic Stick in Detroit.
Billy was so fucking cool, nice, and fun to hang out with. I wish I could have hung out with him more. It's great when you meet someone whose artistic output you admire, and they turn out to be super nice and friendly.
Billy, Toru and Seiji helped reaffirm my belief that Rock N Roll can change the world and make life better for everyone. I hope Toru and Seiji can continue rocking. Guitar Wolf FOREVER!
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 4:46 pm

I was TRULY hoping to get online today and find that this was all an April Fools joke, given Billy's odd sense of humor.

Billy Bass Wolf was a badmotherfucker and this world is a less cool place without him in it.

Posted: Apr 1, 2005 5:43 pm
I just saw the guy in Detroit, it was like yesterday. Its no fun when cool people die.

Wild Zero Drinking games are in my future. Every time you see Bass Wolf, Drink.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 6:13 pm
I'm gonna be on a boat sailing down the Thames tomorrow night with JMM and Jack Oblivian, there's gonna be a lot of drinking and Guitar Wolf. Billy's gonna get a good send-off. JET LICENCE!
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 6:23 pm
I have been reading these postings for the past day and can I say how much our friend was loved!!!!! WOW. He's definately smiling with that snarl at all of us, making some kind of wise crack...probably with some expletive or vulgar undertone....but thats why we loved him like a mother fucker!!!!!
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 6:29 pm
God rest your rock and roll soul. Campay! Campay! To Billy.
Posted: Apr 1, 2005 10:37 pm
That first show Guitar Wolf played in Memphis at the Antenna Club was one of the best those of us lucky enough to witness will ever see. Billy never held back and always put 500% into what he did-

RIP Billy, we will really miss you
Posted: Apr 2, 2005 11:20 pm
Aw, shit that sucks. Those guys tore Proud Larry's (Oxford) a new one a few years ago.
Posted: Apr 4, 2005 6:57 am
Billy and Toru and Seiji have been great friends since I'd met them here in Portland almost 10 years ago. They demanded a "command performance" of my Runaways tribute band, opening for Guitar Wolf at our late, much-missed hellhole of a punk club, the Satyricon. Billy and I were probably closest, since he was SO FUCKIN' OUTGOING and LOVING and FRIENDLY, and at that time, had the"best" English (me not knowing Japanese). I am utterly bereft, especially after our HAPPY HAPPY reunion just 3 weeks ago. This thread had not been started, when I posted my initial keening, so that's back under "Guitar Wolf," along with my earlier, pre-tragedy "take" on my beloved Jett-Rockin' Wolves. Sadness does not begin to describe my feelings these past few days. As I said on the other, "Guitar Wolf" thread: There's a man out there taking names, and he's got the WRONG DAMN LIST! Too much loss, these past few years ... So hard to take, but must keep on keepin' on. I can't even imagine what Billy's family and closest friend must be going through, not to mention Toru and Seiji and what they've lost, too. This shit SUCKS, man, and everybody out there, PLEASE look out for one another. These is hard, HARD, FUCKED-UP times, and us freaks is all we got. VIVA Billy-san, our one and only BASS WOLF! I will JETT ROCK with you forever, my old friend. Just you wait! (And say hey to Dee Dee, cuz it's gonna be awhile, Bass-san!) Love from a broken rock'n'roll heart ... "Portland Joan Jett"
Posted: Apr 4, 2005 8:27 pm
just got this email from Toru-

Thanx and sorry for worry about me.I feel much better now.We make a wake tomorrow night,and the day after tomorrow,we will make a funeral for Billy.Please pray for him.And don't be sad,laugh at him! If you guys feel sad,I know,he'll fell so sad too.
take care,Chris.

I guess we need to all dig out our most ridiculous photos, stories, and memories of Billy and start laughing now- he would want it that way.
Posted: Apr 4, 2005 8:56 pm
Hope they stock plenty of combs and grease in rock n' roll heaven.
Rest in Peace Billy.
Posted: Apr 5, 2005 5:33 pm
I just got a myspace message from my friend Jeff fron THE BOMB. I asked him if he had heard about Billy and he replied:

Yeah I saw that. What a bummer. Is was watching that zombie Guitar wolf movie at a bar yesterday. I was talking the bar tender about how I saw them play in Vegas back in the day,and she totally started hitting on me right in front of Jennie. Oh the power of Guitar wolf!
Posted: Apr 5, 2005 7:15 pm
Eric - I'm so glad you met Seiji and Billy and Toru and brought them here into our lives. Thanks for 12 truly amazing years of rock and friendship. RIP Billy, you will really be missed.
Posted: Apr 6, 2005 8:31 am
I only checked out this site, like, right before or after Guitar Wolf's last show here. I'm sure Seiji and Toru have been flooded with condolences and messages, and it's heaviest for them and for Billy's closest and nearest and dearest. I've begun to feel much better, reading everyone's stories and heartfelt love for Bass Wolf. And, in particular, THANK YOU to those of you forwarding the messages from Seiji and Toru. It's a comfort to the rest of us, to hear their own words. Thinking of Billy, and brother Wolves now, as the memorial is sometime around now, too. Stand tall and united in ROCK'N'ROLL, everybody ... And CARPE DIEM.
Long live the Bass Wolf, Billy-san ... And all love from us "I CAN's" to Toru and Seiji. .... Christeen in PDX
Posted: Apr 8, 2005 7:22 pm
nice bit from Bill Ellis in Memphis' Commercial Appeal today:

Japanese punkabilly bassist will be missed

'Billy' Sekiguchi of local fan favorites Guitar Wolf dies at 38 of heart attack

By Bill Ellis
April 8, 2005

Memphis lost an adopted son when Guitar Wolf bassist Hideaki 'Billy' Sekiguchi (a.k.a., Bass Wolf) died March 31 of a heart attack. He was 38.

Based out of Tokyo, the Japanese leather-and-grease punkabilly trio has been in many ways the Asian, raw power equivalent of local underground institution the Oblivians.

Eric 'Oblivian' Friedl even put out Guitar Wolf's first album, Wolf Rock, on his Goner label in the early '90s, and the two soulfully cacophonous bands toured Japan together in 1998. Local auteur John Michael McCarthy also filmed music videos of the Wolf and featured them in his sci-fi/garage-rock epic "The Sore Losers" as deathray-shooting aliens -- they then moved to starring roles in Tetsuro Takeuchi's genre-smashing zombie flick "Wild Zero."

Formed in 1987, Guitar Wolf played locally over the past decade at clubs such as the Antenna, Barrister's (a November 1996 double bill with the Oblivians was a highlight for this writer) and Young Avenue Deli, where the act performed only weeks ago.

Appreciations have been many, especially on the Goner Records bulletin board (goner-records.com).

"I was truly hoping to get online today and find that this was all an April Fool's joke, given Billy's odd sense of humor," says one posting; "Love from a broken rock 'n' roll heart" says another.

Writes Guitar Wolf guitarist Seiji: "I know Billy's up in heaven rocking out, keeping all those (expletive) up at night. I bet he'll start a band with Joey Ramone and Elvis. He would love that."
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