Today is the birthday of late Echo and the Bunnymen drummer Pete de
Freitas, who was born in the Port of Spain, Trinidad. He would have been 36.
Echo and the Bunnymen rose in England's dark post-punk scene, crafting moody melodies with a neopsychedelic edge. Formed in Liverpool after singer Ian McCulloch was booted from The Teardrop Explodes, the early lineup included McCulloch, bassist Les Pattinson, guitarist Will Sergeant and a drum machine called Echo, which was soon replaced by de Freitas.
The band debuted with 1980's Crocodiles, which went all the way to
#17 on the UK charts. 1981's Heaven Up Here was darker, but widely
praised by critics. Porcupine included singles such as "The Back of
Love" and "The Cutter." The band continued making music and touring until
the mid-1980s, when de Freitas briefly joined Haircut 100 before returning
to the Bunnymen. Although the band recorded a self-titled album in 1987 and
a popular cover of the Doors' "People Are Strange" with Doors keyboardist
Ray Manzarek, by the end of the decade the band had split.
In 1991, de Freitas was killed in a motorcycle accident. Echo and the
Bunnymen reunited last year, and have returned to record stores with
Evergreen, released earlier this year.
Other birthdays: Garth Hudson (The Band), Edward Patten (Gladys Knight and
the Pips), Doris Kenner (Shirelles), Andrew Gold, Clive Wright (Cock
Robin), Apollonia, John Stanier (Helmet) and horror film director Wes