R.I.P. Bobby Load, Friends & Fans Remember, Announce Fund for Memorial Services
We would be remiss if we didn't again note the passing of the Holy Terrors' Dan Hosker this past August. But just over a week ago, fans and friends also mourned the loss of Eric Rivers, the singer for bands like Genetic Mistake and Pontius Pilot, who died two weeks after getting caught in a tragic office shooting in Minneapolis.
-Bobby Load, Miami Punk Legend, Dies; Memorial Tribute Planned for Hialeah Fest
-Dan Hosker, Famed South Florida Punk and Holy Terrors Guitarist, Dead at 46
As Bobby Load, Johnston served as a sort of pied piper for this whole scene. At once a merry prankster and a slightly battered street poet, his many friends and admirers fondly recall a sweet-souled joker with a complicated legacy. Load, his band, started its upward ascent at just about the time Nirvana turned into a national sensation. Fans and critics thought the equally poster-boy-attractive and incandescent Johnston might follow the same path.
And though Load, at one point, outdrew the other local rock success story, Marilyn Manson, Johnston had little interest in playing the music industry game. In fact, in a nose-thumbing gesture, the group even printed a run of infamous T-shirts that proclaimed itself "louder than Sub Pop."
Indeed, what those close to him -- and the many who wished they were close to him -- remember is that above all else, Johnston lived completely on his own terms until the end. With him, friends say, you always knew what you were getting -- a true individual who wouldn't be tamed, and who would, amidst the rock and roll circus, surprise you with his kindness, wit, and smarts.
Memorial services for Johnston are still being planned. In fact, to make sure they happen, his friends and family need your financial help. Anyone wishing to contribute to Johnston's cremation and funeral costs should visit the Bobby Load Tribute page on Facebook, or head directly to Paypal to send money to Bobby's brother, Jeff Johnston, at email@example.com.
We will update here further on services, tribute gigs, and so on, but in the meantime, we started to reach out to some of Bobby Load's friends and fans for their thoughts on his life and legacy. After all, it wasn't just in the '90s during which Johnston had an artistic impact -- some of today's younger musicians and artists cite his performances as influences.
Click forward to read some of these reflections, and we'll be updating throughout the weekend -- feel free to share in the comments below or by e-mail.