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We are sorry to report the death of the groundbreaking musician, Z’ev. We heard that he had been ill and ran a story on the crowd funding for his treatment a few months ago but his death has now been reported on Boyd Rice’s facebook page…

‘Just received word that long time friend Z’EV just died. Cause uncertain at this time, but he had spitting up blood recently. He spent last winter in our guest bedroom pursuant to the train derailment he was airlifted from, because his doctor told him he met get not survive a winter in Chicago. And the man we met at Denver international airport was a shadow of the person I’ve known for over four decades. His spirit was still tough as nails but physically he seemed devastated and had difficulty ascending the stairs to his room. Three and a half months later much of his strength seemed restored; he had survived the winter and the outlook seemed good. We had recently heard from him that he was doing some shows in Mexico and was going to spend this winter in Santa Fe. I’d assumed that even if he would never be 100% again he was at least back on his game. I had convinced him to release a box set of recordings through a German company that would chronicle his entire career and that I would write the perfect liner notes for it. I would say that Z’EV was to the avant garde what Iggy Pop was to rock and roll: total intensity, energy and raw power and he often left the stage in the early eighties cut up and bleeding from the injuries he received from his own instruments. I’d made extensive notes for my text and look forward to promoting the life and career of a man I thought was one of the most under appreciated figures in modern music. A linguist, an ethnic musicologist, a scholar, a mystic; but a man who could distil all this into a performance so intense that it could captivate an audience in a punk rock venue. That was his unique gift. He was one of the most talented people I have ever met. And there has never been any performer akin to him.’

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Sorry to hear about Z’ev passing. He is a very talented avante guard performance artist & good guy, I worked with him over the years from his beginning. I’m a digital film maker and I produced a video album back in 1980 and he was one of four performances featured on “Live at Target”

  2. All I can say is that we’ve lost one of the most original and creative people I’ve ever known. I first saw him perform at the Mabuhay in 1978, and later got to know him well when we worked together on recording, production and artwork over six projects (2 LPs, 2 singles, a cassette album, and the “Live at Target” compilation tracks), as well as the occasional junkyard scavenging trips for hunks of cool-sounding metal.

  3. Lovely article. For the record, Z’EV lived with Boyd and his wife in Denver for over three and a half months to help him recouperate after the accident.


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