Anton Fierdrummer for bands including the Feelies, the Lounge Lizards, and the Golden Palominos, died. Fier’s bandmates in the Feelies confirmed the news, paying tribute to Fier in a statement shared with Pitchfork. He is 66 years old.
“Last night, we received the sad news of Anton’s death,” the statement read. “In a very short time, in our own musical journey, we had the pleasure of playing with him. As a musician, Anton holds himself to a very high bar, which in turn inspires those around him to get better. We’ve all lost a wonderful musician, a truly great drummer. And peace has found him.”
Fier was born on June 20, 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio. His interest in punk music took him to New York in his early 20s, playing drums on the Feelies’ landmark 1980 album Crazy Rhythms before leaving the band after its release. Fier continued to participate John Lurie in his noisy, jazz-punk group the Lounge Lizards, and performed on their 1981 debut album. Later that year, Fier recruited John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Bill Laswell, and Fred Frith to join his band, the Golden Palominos. The group’s lineup rotates frequently, with Fier, Laswell, and Skopelitis being the longest-serving members.
An in-demand drummer on New York’s downtown scene, Fier has performed on records with Pere Ubu, John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Gil Scott-Heron, Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Arto Lindsay, Mick Jagger , Bob Mould, Swans, and more. He also served as a producer with acts including Drivin ‘N’ Cryin’, the Grapes of Wrath, and Joe Henry.
Following Fier’s death, many of his friends and bandmates took to social media to pay tribute to the musician. “So sad to hear of the passing of Anton Fier,” wrote John Lurie Twitter. “The Lounge Lizards would never have gotten off the ground without him. He showed us how music works. It demands it.”