D.O.A.'s Joe Keithley confirms Chuck Biscuits' "death" a hoax

Rumours of the demise of Chuck Biscuits have evidently been greatly exaggerated. Earlier today, everyone from AbsolutePunk.net to Entertainment Weekly reported that the former D.O.A. drummer—who left the music business in 1999—had died of throat cancer on October 24 after a long illness.

The “death” was reported by blogger James Greene Jr., who wrote that he had spent the past six months corresponding via e-mail with Biscuits and his wife. In the hours after the story went viral, Greene’s website, www.jgtwo.wordpress.com was bombarded with posts demanding proof of the death.

The Straight contacted Biscuit’s former bandmate Joey Keithley, singer-guitarist of D.O.A.. He confirmed that Biscuits is very much alive.

"It was a cruel Internet hoax—it was ridiculous," Keithley said. "His brother did talk to him yesterday afternoon."

In the meantime, Greene has evidently accepted that he was the victim of an elaborate prank. On his Web site, he wrote the following after being bashed repeatedly for posting the death notice despite having nothing to go on except for emails from people purporting to be Biscuits and his wife.

Greene wrote: How do you “check hard facts” or “verify” anything about a guy who went off grid ten years ago and the people who allegedly knew him best won’t return your e-mails? I tried, you guys, I really fuckin’ tried. I spent a good chunk of ”˜08 searching for Chuck and info on Chuck. All I got was Bill Goddamn Stevenson. No one was talking.

”I wrote a thing about Biscuits anyway and then, out the blue, some fucker calling himself by that name who looks like the guy on the record sleeves starts corresponding with me. What the fuck am I supposed to do? Call shenanigans? Whatever happened to trust? Who would lie about being Chuck Biscuits? Especially to a piece of “vermin” like me on the lowest rung of the totem pole?

”Has anyone ever lied to you for six months about being a terminally ill hero of your musical youth? It’s fucking weird. You think I wasn’t devastated when I read the e-mail the other day that announced his “death?” That’s why I wrote this blog in the first place. I wanted to give CB the obit I knew he deserved. I knew there’d be source questions, but what was I supposed to do, e-mail his “wife” back and be like, “Hey, can you send me pics of the body?” I had no suspicions. I thought I had this shit on lock down. Who would lie to a NOBODY blogger about this kind of thing for so long?

”It’s easy to attack me in hindsight, but again – this had been going on since May. Who the fuck lies about being a dying Chuck Biscuits for half a year? Are my friends/enemies smart enough to hack enough related e-mail accounts to perpetrate something like this? I just want to know how it happened.

”I’d also like some more conclusive proof that Chuck isn’t dead aside from e-mails from people whose existence I can’t further verify.

Comments

20 Comments

Jennifer Moreau

Oct 29, 2009 at 9:08pm

Yikes. If you are going to disseminate information as a blogger or "citizen journalist" you have a responsibility to ensure it's accurate. Otherwise, don't bother. You're just creating more noise in a senseless universe. This could have been easily avoided by checking with a second source.

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kyle

Oct 30, 2009 at 7:07am

how can say any one is dead if u don't know that is very shity and fucked up thing to do

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Matt Chittum

Oct 30, 2009 at 7:11am

I have a built in bias here. I work for a mainstream newspaper. But this is exactly the problem with bloggers as news sources. Too frequently they don't the resources and skills to get things confirmed -- even in they have the good sense to. On top of that, they're often solo operations with no editorial checks and balances built into the process. So, no surprise when you come out with this kind of "ready, fire, aim" kind of publishing.

Chuck Biscuits

Oct 30, 2009 at 8:09am

Jennifer,

Cut the guy some slack...he's a goddamn blogger for christ's sake, not f'ing Ted Koppel. He got duped. You don't think he feels bad enough for disseminating purportedly false info?

You don't think you ragging on him online like a goddamn cunt is just adding to the creation of "more noise in a senseless universe"?

And just how do you "check with a second source" when no one who knew the guy will say anything about him, his whereabouts or state of being?

He's apologized and ,short of posting every e-mail in the exchange between himself and the accused impersonators (which might be considered a breach of trust), that's about all you can really expect from the guy.

Lighten up. Get off your high horse and get over yourself.

Daveb

Oct 30, 2009 at 8:52am

I exchanged emails with chuck after very little "digging" and am fully aware of his current location.... for a guy to say he spent the greater part of 08' searching for him and finding nothing, I find ridiculous. The worst part about this whole this is the mainstream press jumping the gun and using this guys blog as a source.

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Shane

Oct 30, 2009 at 11:00am

Jennifer, he had a "second source" in Chuck's wife. Of course, in hindsight, that person (if it was even a second person) was full of shit, too, but at the time, why would you question that? Especially given someone of Chuck's level of popularity - well known amongst a small group of people, but not big enough that this would cause a gigantic national stink.

James was duped, straight up. And in the process, so were a lot of other people. Should James have tried harder to check more sources? Maybe. But when you've got Chuck's "wife" emailing and saying that he passed, it's kinda hard to doubt the legitimacy of that. Should the larger news outlets that picked up on James' blog double checked on it before running with a story that only appeared on one blog? Absolutely. It's painfully evident now that anyone could write a blog post about someone dying, whether it be a con of their own, or something they were tricked into, and these larger news outlets will take it and run with it, as though it were a hard fact.

I can't find a reason to fault James here, instead I point the finger more at the larger news outlets that reported on this. Obviously, nobody is quite as deserving of the blame and scorn as the person who perpetrated this whole mess.

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Lori B.

Oct 30, 2009 at 12:43pm

why the fuck would his wife start some serious rumour? Where is chuck in all this???

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johnyg

Oct 30, 2009 at 1:53pm

im just happy one of punks greater drummers is getting a little long overdue time in the spotlight regardless of the circumstances... cheers chuck

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Crescent Heights Guy

Oct 30, 2009 at 4:50pm

Can real punks get their nom de punk from a Tod Rundgren song? (Piss Aaron)

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John Armstrong

Oct 30, 2009 at 11:12pm

Hey Matt - your colleagues at CBC, EW et al couldn't be arsed to check the fact either before jumping on the story so spare me any crap about the legitimacy of mainstream press.
I spent 15 years at the Sun.