On Saturday, Sept. 24, the world lost another unsung musician. That day, Greg “Gyn Cameron” Stover, the former leader of Dayton-based ’80s industrial-techno pop wizards Dementia Precox, passed away in St. Petersburg, Fla. at age 54.
Aside from two reunion shows in 2007, the band hadn’t performed since the mid-1990s, but is still remembered fondly by longtime fans. Some of the late musician’s friends, including local bands Dark Backward, Gem City Saints and former Dementia Precox members, will pay tribute to Stover and his music at Oregon Express on Saturday, Oct. 15.
We checked in with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices and Nick Kizirnis, a former member of Dementia Precox, The Mulchmen and other bands, to get their thoughts on the legacy of Stover’s music.
Q What was your introduction to Dementia and what was your initial reaction to the band?
KIZIRNIS: “I found a copy of ‘Parts Unknown’ and was completely blown away by how wild it sounded. It was a completely different take on punk rock that both fit in with the intense, urgent music I was listening to like the Minutemen and Husker Du and yet sounded nothing like them. Shortly after that I got the cassette and I was surprised and excited to hear how the approach was morphing into some cool pop songs — with plenty of weirdness thrown in!”
Q Dementia was completely different than what you, or anybody else, were doing locally at the time. What’s your impression of the band’s music?
POLLARD: “At the time I wasn’t too crazy about Dementia Precox, but it sounds good, man. It was way better than what I was into. I was behind, dude. At the time I was more into jangle-pop and stuff and they were into the industrial stuff, like Chrome, which I wasn’t too crazy about but now I like it. ‘Parts Unknown’ aged well — I like that record.”
Q If Dementia Precox could be remembered for one song, what track would it be and why?
KIZIRNIS: “Gyn was not only ahead of his time, but was a terrific person to work with. He wrote many, many amazing songs — ‘Just For a Little While,’ ‘Nothing Lasts Forever,’ ‘TV Jesus,’ ‘Newar’s Eve,’ ‘Maladie D’Esprit,’ ‘Love is Headless,’ ‘Streets are Empty’ — but I’d pick ‘Tonight,” which was the opening number in the later years of the band. It was a perfect opening number, and really set the mood for the entire set. But as you can see, I find it hard to pick just one.”
Contact contributing arts and music writer Don Thrasher at email@example.com.
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