Former GRIP INC. Vocalist Gus Chambers Passes; Coventry Music Scene Pays Tribute

October 17, 2008, 8 years ago

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Former GRIP INC. singer Gus Chambers has passed away. Chambers, who lived in Coventry, England, reportedly took his own life on October 13th, 2008 at 52 years of age.

Coventry Telegraph's Pete Chambers reports:

One of the city's much-loved and popular musicians, Gus Chambers, died last weekend. Here Telegraph Backbeat writer Pete Chambers pays tribute to his life and his work.

Gus Chambers was a natural born rocker.

He took over lead vocals from Terry Hall in the punk band SQUAD in the late 70s, and fronted the band through their finest moments. But his punk-crazed stage antics were quite opposite to the real man - Gus was a thinker, and a great believer in fairness and racial equality, though to some, he was just a punk.

One incident Gus once spoke to me about happened in Birmingham after a BOOMTOWN RATS gig.

He said: "We were sitting in this club with a couple of band members, when in burst a guy with a huge kitchen knife screaming all punks must die because they had killed ELIVS PRESLEY. No one was hurt but it shows what a negative role the media played in its portrayal of punks. There were, however, some positives in that time. The race barriers were smashed down during this period, and there was nothing stronger than a united front."

When the final embers of the punk revolution faded away, Gus took his skills as a top notch front-man to the new band 21 GUNS. They released the single 'Ambition Rock' on Neville Staples's Shack Records.

Gus later moved to America and formed SONS OF DAMNATION, finally joining the no messing high-energy metal band GRIP INC. They were formed by former SLAYER drum-king Dave Lombardo. They released three brooding albums in the mid to late 90s - Power Of Inner Strength, Nemesis, and Solidify - and finally came back with a fourth entitled Incorporated in 2004, which was greeted as a true return to form by the critics.

Of late, Gus was part of the sonically-superb MANTRA SECT. "I've been very lucky in my career," said Gus. "I have had the privilege of playing in front of thousands of people at festivals like Rock In Rio and the Dynamo Festival in Holland. Nothing though brings back fonder memories than playing in front of maybe 20 or 30 people in The Hand And Heart or the back room of The Swanswell."

The line, "He'll be greatly missed", is forever trotted out on these occasions; this time it's totally fitting, and judging by the unprecedented number of people who phoned me to tell me the tragic news, this is one great Cov rocker who will never be forgotten and God forbid, ever be replaced.

Read more at Coventry Telegraph.

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