Former S.A. SLAYER, JUGGERNAUT Vocalist Passes Away
May 17, 2006, 12 years ago
Former S.A. SLAYER and JUGGERNAUT vocalist Steve Cooper passed away in the early morning hours of May 14 at a San Antonio, Texas hospital from complications due to kidney failure. Cooper, who was diabetic, had been in ill health and on dialysis for several years prior to his untimely death.
Steven Lane Cooper first came to local prominence as the frontman of San Antonio favorites LIQUID SKY, also featuring guitarist Jonathan Grell (WINTERKAT, RHETT FORRESTER), whose only recorded output came in 1981 with Cry For The King on the 99.5 KISS-sponsored Homegrown Album compilation LP. Cooper then joined forces with bassist Don Van Stavern (PITBULL DAYCARE, ex-RIOT), drummer Dave McClain (MACHINE HEAD, ex-SACRED REICH), and guitarists Art Villareal and Bob Catlin in legendary Texas metal pioneers SLAYER (not to be confused with the L.A.-based act of the same name) who released their acclaimed debut EP, Prepare To Die, in 1983 on the Rainforest label.
The band's explosive mix of early IRON MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE and ANGEL WITCH was further documented on their classic Go For The Throat LP, recorded with lead guitarist Ron Jarzombek (WATCHTOWER, SPASTIC INK) and released posthumously under the slightly altered S.A. SLAYER moniker some four years after the group's break-up. Cooper, Van Stavern, and McClain subsequently teamed up with RIOT guitarist Mark Reale in the short-lived NARITA. Cooper would re-surface with fellow Texas metallers JUGGERNAUT and contributed lead vocals on the band's 1987 sophomore album, Trouble Within, before doing a short stint with East Coast-based Metal Blade label mates, EXXPLORER.