Micah Kennedy 1970 - 2009

Micah Kennedy 1970 - 2009

Sacramento musician Micah Kennedy died last week. He had been ill for some time, though only his close friends and family knew. His body gave out while he was surrounded by those closest to him. He was only 39 years old.

I knew Micah from my involvement in Sacramento's underground music scene. My bands played with his. I put on shows by his bands and released a record with one of them on it. My friendship with him was casual - record talk at shows, hanging out a few times, etc. - though I was fond of him. He was a good guy. And he was an ace guitarist.

He played in several bands but the two he is remembered for are the Tiki Men and the Lazy J's. The Tiki Men were the more popular of the two. A great instrumental garage band with a hard edged Link Wray-like sound, they earned praise from garage punks to surf music die-hards. They released one album and a handful of 7"s, all excellent. Their records and live shows - fueled by Micah's raw, aggressive guitar sound - earned them a worldwide following.

The Lazy J's never were as popular as the Tiki Men. Their influences were a bit more rarefied (Dion, Del Shannon, various British bands) and they tended to play only within a hundred mile radius of Sacramento. Still, they were a great band. Unfortunately, their output was pretty slim, one song released on the Sacramento: City of a Beer 7" compilation.

I've chosen four songs in tribute to Micah - Two by the Tiki Men, two by the Lazy J's. "Tiki Torcher" comes from the Tiki Men's debut EP Sneak a Drink with the Tiki Men, released in 1994 on Secret Center Records. The Tiki Men's second single contained Micah's song "Cattle Prod", one of the best garage instrumentals ever. It was released on Hillsdale in 1994. As noted, the Lazy J's released only one song. That song is "She's So Refined", which came out in 1997 on the aforementioned compilation. I am also posting one unreleased Lazy J's song, "Each Day." I believe it was recorded at the same time as "She's So Refined".

Good bye Micah and thanks for some great music.

sad news.

those Tiki Men singles are top of the heap of post-'60s surf guitar. surf guitar in toto, even.
Beautiful music...
i Loved the Tiki Men they were the closest in sound and design to original Link wray in the world
...now they are together
So sorry to hear this. The Tikimen and the Curbfeelers played quite a few shows together, always good fun and it felt like genuine good cameraderie between bands. Rest in peace, Micah. -Eric
Micah was a good friend of mine for many years and I miss him a lot. I was lucky enough to play music with him, over the 10 years or so that he lived in San Francisco, mostly in someone's livingroom. His guitar technique was so solid yet could be brick- raw when he let it go. He had impeccible roll"n"roll licks, and he wrote mournfully sweet songs that break my heart when I hear them now. I cried like a baby when I heard he had died, and there is not a week that goes by that I don't think about him.-DAG
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?