Chris Grier, of To Live and Shave in L.A., Has Died

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 07.11.14 in News

Chris Grier, a member of avant-garde noise-rock group To Live and Shave in L.A. from 2003 to 2007, died last night. The Miami-born experimental collective’s co-founder Tom Smith, formerly of Pussy Galore, announced the news on Facebook, calling Grier “a brother in arms.”

“He suffered a cardiac arrest, had the presence of mind to call 911, but when paramedics arrived they found him unresponsive,” Smith wrote. “Chris was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital. Damn, damn.”

Grier is credited with guitar and treatments in the band and played on such albums as 2006′s Noon and Eternity, when To Live and Shave in L.A.’s lineup included Andrew W.K. and Thurston Moore. Grier also was in the rotating avant-rock collective Scarcity of Tanks with Minutemen’s Mike Watt and others, and he was one half of the drums-and-guitars Ultimate Vag with Scott Verrastro of psych-improv outfit Kohoutek.

“Words truly cannot express the sadness and grief I am feeling right now,” Verrastro wrote on Facebook. “My dear friend and musical cohort Chris Grier passed on to another dimension last night, and to say I am in shock is an understatement. Chris was an extremely dynamic and singular guitarist and I’m proud of the numerous improvisations we did together in Thee Ultimate Vag and Kohoutek.”

During Grier’s career, the Washington, D.C.-based musician and journalist also played with the likes of Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, Little Wings, Little Howlin’ Wolf and more. In D.C., he organized 2005′s Noise Against Fascism concert on the day of George W. Bush’s second inauguration. Whether solo or in groups, Grier shared bills with Faust, Bob Pollard, Dan Higgs, Max Ochs, Grey Daturas, Flower Travellin’ Band, Ya Ho Wha 13, Wolf Eyes’ Nate Young, Sightings, Magik Markers, Wooden Wand, Religious Knives, Six Organs of Admittance, MV+EE and others.

Other details about Grier’s passing aren’t clear at this time. “To alleviate the sorrow, celebrate a life cut too short with this cover of the Walker Brothers’ ‘The Electrician’ with special guests Gibby Haynes and Don Fleming,” Verrastro wrote (Fleming has been a member of such groups as To Live and Shave in L.A., Velvet Monkeys and Gumball). “RIP Chris, I’m going to miss you.” Via NYCTaper, here’s that 2012 performance.