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Goner Message Board / ???? / RIP Bill Peitsch :-(
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 3:43 am
Reposted from GarageNYC
It is with an extremely heavy heart that I pass along the sad news
that Billy Ray Peitsch died this afternoon. I don't know any details,
other than that he suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized on

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that my life was profoundly changed
from knowing Bill. His pranks, pratfalls and irreverence showed that
life was as fun as you make it, and that you should never take
yourself too seriously. He opened my eyes to all sorts of great
music -- ever aware that the value of records is in what's on 'em.
He was a fiercely loyal friend, a hard worker, and a devoted family
man. I could go on and on...

In any case, I'll miss him dearly.

My heart goes out to his wife, Andrea, and children Wendy and Billy
Ray, Jr.

Posted: Sep 22, 2007 3:47 am
Thats not Bill from the Senders is it?
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 3:54 am
Thats not Bill from the Senders is it?

No. Billy from the Church Keys and Purple Wizard.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 3:58 am
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 3:59 am
really fuckin sad.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 4:02 am | Edited by: jahna
Actually, I just recently heard from Wild Bill from the Senders.

He's on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/billythompsonwhynot
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 4:25 am
holy shit.
that is terrible and oh so fucking heartbreaking

what a sterling individual he was
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 4:54 am | Edited by: andria
no way -- not the vanilla gorilla!
rest in peace, peitch.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 5:37 am
this sucks.

bill was one of a kind.

he will be missed by many.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 8:43 am
Sad news indeed. The weird thing is that last wednesday I was talking about him with a friend who was going to see him during the Cavestomp weekend.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 10:07 am
Billy from the Church Keys

Is that the same Church Keys that was backing Andre Williams for a while?

Sad business. RIP.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 11:58 am
no fucking way, no man, he was indeed one of a kind... i am devastated, my heart with his wife, kid and familly, damn it....
RIP Bill i love you bro...
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 12:58 pm
Fuck! Bill Peitsch totally ruled. I knew him from when he first moved to NYC. He was a first class party animal of the highest order. Made every show he ever went to better. A really nice dude too. I'll never forget him and Michelle fighting it out in front of the stage at one of our last gigs. Classic. Whenever I hear The Hustler by The Sonics I think of him. This really ruined my day (not that it was going so well to begin with...). I'm really sorry and Bill will be missed more than he would probably ever know. RIP.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 1:07 pm
oh man this is horrible news

RIP Bill
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 1:46 pm
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 1:50 pm
man for sure, every show he was at was ten times better, he knew how to make everybody loose, i feel so fucking sad, he was number one in my book, so many memories... he was the king of the book store strand...
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 2:01 pm
Mono man must be devastated. They were best friends. I still can't believe my eyes. Who was bigger or stronger than Bill? He was the best.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 2:06 pm
Bill was the greatest and I miss him already.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 3:20 pm
that is so sad. and they just had those kids over the past few years. that is really sad.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 4:15 pm
Who was bigger or stronger than Bill? He was the best.

that's what was tellin womb yesterday. If bill can go just like that then there is no hope for any of us.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 5:24 pm
vanilla gorilla, two fisted beers, held high. what a fucking force of nature.

i can't believe it.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 6:02 pm
Got the details. Sadder than sad. Apparantly Bill thought he had a cold but had pneumonia and by the time he got to the hospital had a massive heart attack. He was taken off life support yesterday. Bill deserved a lot better than this. He left it all out on the court. The world is a lot less fun today.Drink a beer for him tonight.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 10:46 pm
He was indeed a reall cool guy. The last time I saw him was at a Halloween show where I was a monk and he was a refrigerator. He helped me get a job (which I wound up not taking?) at the Strand when I got to New York, and I had only met him once. Alberto vouched for me and that was all he needed. Anyway, I got a call from Miriam yesterday morning telling me that he was probably going to die that day. She said he had a fever of 110 and WALKED to the hospital. Yeah, he was a real man, for sure. I'll miss you at the next Halloween costume contest, Bill. R.I.P.
Posted: Sep 22, 2007 11:59 pm
I remember the proudest day of my young life. I made Bill scream. The Church Keys were doing their Christmas show at Hank's Saloon. Bill had been fucking with bands forever by grabbing Sean's half a mannequin and licking its tits and rushing the stage with it. I was doing sound in a shiny green suit and I had a lacey red pair of tights underneath. Against Vinny's orders. I jumped over the bar and gave him a taste of his own medicine. Dropped trou in mid air. Bill screamed "Get him away from me!" I won. That man was pure rock and roll. We shall never see his like again. I don't know if we can handle it, anyway. AWOOOOOOOGAH! I'll miss you, sir.
Posted: Sep 23, 2007 12:00 am
vanilla gorilla, two fisted beers, held high. what a fucking force of nature.
Wow, that's a Man is the Bastard song.
Posted: Sep 23, 2007 12:03 am
I also saw him play a whole set with a girl on his shoulders. He was a fuckin' m-a-n MAN!
Posted: Sep 23, 2007 4:19 pm
hard times. that guy was fun. RIP.
Posted: Sep 24, 2007 6:07 pm
Bill was one of my best friends in high school back in Michigan...he turned me on to Iggy Pop, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Tubes and many other great bands. We caused all kinds of mayhem in his old orange pinto and subsequent beaters.

I saw him last a few summers ago with his wife-to-be before they had their kids. I relocated to NYC just this year and stopped by the Strand a few weeks ago to leave him a note so we could catch up, but I'm not sure he got it. In any case, I've been thinking about him a lot over the past few days. Even though we haven't seen each other more than a few times since the late 80s, I will miss him. My heart breaks for his wife and their two young children.

RIP Bill, aka Alabama, aka Basil.
Posted: Sep 24, 2007 8:05 pm






Posted: Sep 24, 2007 10:17 pm | Edited by: Eric H
I never really got to know Bill, but I saw him out at shows and the Lakeside Lounge for over ten years. The man was an inspiration and a walking party. Beers held high ... 'alright alright!'. If a night was ever starting off slow, you knew it was about to turn when Bill walked into the room. I know it always made things twice as much fun when he was there. He'll be missed.
Posted: Sep 25, 2007 5:55 pm | Edited by: tedgottfried
Just heard the sad news on WFMU. I remember when Bill hit the scene with his then girlfriend, two tall dancers who became known as the Twin Towers. The Church Keys were great. Bill was one of the best. He and his wife recently help me with my job search. Bill will be missed.
Posted: Oct 10, 2007 10:12 pm
My GOD - I'm so bummed about this! I just got out of the hospital (I'm OK now) and checked my emails and got the bad news just a half hour ago. He was such an all-around great guy and a major inspiration to so many of us. I first had the great pleasure of meeting him when the Church Keys and Lyres played at my surprise 50th birthday at the Kirkland in Cambridge eight years ago and I was an immediate fan of Bill and the group and of course saw them whenever I could. At the 2000 Las Vegas Grind, with so many immense groups on the stage, the Church Keys were definitely far and away the ones I enjoyed the most, one of the greatest groups I've ever witnessed.
Condolences to everyone who knew the man. RIP, Bill. See you again sometime.
Posted: Dec 3, 2007 8:00 pm
"I told you, I'm already drinking"
I have had the pleasure, honor, and wonder of having Bill in my life for 35 years. I have never met a more caring, supportive, engaging, and entertaining individual to date (did I forget intelligent?). I miss him horribly. He'd expect us to laugh it off, crack open beers -- and enjoy. Sometimes I can, and... While most people in our high school were quoting Shakespeare, JFK, and the ilk to accompany their senior high school portraits for the yearbook, Bill quoted John Molson (of the Canadian Brewing Company), "An honest brew makes its own friends". Been slowly building a web page of Bill;
Posted: Dec 5, 2007 8:27 pm
Here's something for your page:

Posted: Dec 5, 2007 8:58 pm
"An honest brew makes its own friends".

Words to live by.

(Great page. Thanks.)
Posted: Aug 6, 2017 1:16 pm
Wow. My dad had so many friends.
Posted: Aug 8, 2017 9:16 am
that's creepy. or cool, not sure.
Posted: Aug 9, 2017 6:14 pm
I remember reading this post way back when. I'll always love the Church Keys. I never met Bill but I remember seeing him at a bunch of NYC shows in the 90s, dancing like a fool, wearing his sunglasses after dark, always smiling. Ale up!
Posted: Aug 31, 2017 10:41 pm
Hey Billy Peitsch... your dad made friends EVERYWHERE! Miss him, and I barely knew him... never will forget him. A force! Be proud!
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