Allen Shellenberger, drummer of rock band [artist id="508261"]Lit[/artist], died Thursday after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 39 years old.
Shellenberger founded Lit in Fullerton, California, during the early 1990s (first as a glam-rock outfit called Razzle) alongside brothers A. Jay and Jeremy Popoff and bassist Kevin Baldes. The quartet released a handful of albums before breaking through in 1999 with the modern-rock hit “My Own Worst Enemy,” from their A Place in the Sun album.
The song sat at #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and eventually pushed sales of Sun past the 1 million mark. Lit toured with [artist id="1003"]No Doubt[/artist], [artist id="1076"]Garbage[/artist] and the [artist id="1109"]Offspring[/artist] in support of the album and released a pair of memorable follow-up singles, including “Zip-Lock,” the video of which parodied [artist id="18187"]Twisted Sister[/artist]‘s “I Wanna Rock” clip (and featured a cameo by a then up-and-coming [artist id="783"]Blink-182[/artist]), and “Miserable,” which saw the band performing on Pamela Anderson’s posterior.
Lit’s discography also includes 2001′s Atomic, a 2004 greatest-hits comp and a self-titled album released that same year after the band had split with RCA Records.
In 2008, Shellenberger was diagnosed with a malignant glioma brain tumor and immediately underwent clinical trials, chemotherapy and radiation at the Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute. His treatments were documented in an “ABC World News Tonight” piece that aired in May of that year.
To pay for those treatments, his Lit bandmates threw benefit shows — featuring performances by their friends [artist id="831"]Sugar Ray[/artist] and Adrian Young of No Doubt — and held eBay auctions, with bands like the [artist id="1012"]Red Hot Chili Peppers[/artist], [artist id="1230385"]Maroon 5[/artist], the [artist id="814"]Dave Matthews Band[/artist] and [artist id="503135"]Queens of the Stone Age[/artist] donating items for bid.
Shellenberger is survived by his daughter, Giovanna Mackey; his mother, Connie James; and his father, Paul Shellenberger. In a statement released Friday (August 14), his former bandmates expressed their sorrow and remembered a man who was very much their musical brother.
“To know Al was to know laughter,” the statement reads. “He had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. Words cannot begin to express how much he will be missed. This was our brother and not a day will go by that we won’t think about him. Right now we’re trying to find the balance of mourning his loss and celebrating his life. Allen has experienced more in his 39 years than most people dream of in 10 lifetimes. This is a tremendous loss for us, our fans and also for Allen’s family who took such good care of him during his battle with cancer.”