Vancouver alt-music scene pioneer Howard Rix has died.
Beloved as the singer for such acts as the Scramblers, Stingin’ Hornets, and G.I. Blues, Rix passed away in Vancouver General Hospital this evening. A severe asthma attack was followed by two heart attacks.
Rix rocketed to local stardom in the mid-’80s as a member of Vancouver supergroup the Scramblers. Featuring former members of Rabid, Slow, and the Subhumans, the band mixed Stooges-strength garage-punk with turbo-charged blues.
As great as the five-piece was musically, it was Rix who owned audiences when the Scramblers played live. He was one of the greatest frontmen in the history of Vancouver underground music.
The Scramblers would tour Russia, and record a devastating (but never-released) album for one-time manager Bruce Allen before disbanding.
Rix would later rebrand himself as one of the city’s most golden-throated country-rockabilly singers as a member of G.I. Blues, Stingin’ Hornets, and more.
Facebook is flooded tonight with messages from those who knew Rix not only as one of the city’s finest-ever frontmen, but also as a genuinely decent and nice human being.
Watch Rix with the Scramblers below on the '80s CBC show Pilot 1.