You Say It's Your Birthday: Echo And The Bunnymen's Pete de Freitas

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