By Josiah HughesA friend and collaborator of Carla Bozulich in the '90s alternative rock group Ethyl Meatplow, John Napier has passed away. While his exact cause of death is unclear, Bozulich said, "It was drugs that got John."
That statement comes from a lengthy statement that Bozulich posted on her Facebook page. While it's too long to repost in its entirety, here's a particularly touching excerpt:
John was the most dynamic performer I've ever known. Sick, scary and loving. The cat that knew the best books and records and shortwave channels. He would pull things out of nowhere. I shiver to think what I would have missed and maybe someday I'll make a list! That was John. Same with tons of stuff. He just found things. He cared not for being cool. He treated people the way he thought was right and mostly that meant very gently and with great interest. Sometimes he was an ass. Sometimes he'd sit down for hours with someone and teach something excellent. I'm not gonna pretty him up. I wouldn't want him to do it to me. The things about him that were fascinating and kind can't all be listed but he was also a volatile guy and a bit dangerous at times. We all were. And we all found and loved eachother and were a real (fucked up) family and our extended family was and is very large.
When we split up John went and got degrees in social work and focused on troubled kids. I'm sure he changed some lives that way. I know he had a sweet girlfriend but i've been away so long I can't say I know hide nor hare about almost anything. A thing like this really makes you remember the times where your life changed course forever because you knew a certain someone. I feel extremely lucky ever to have found my "voice" not just my singing voice, and much of that has to do with John drawing me out of my shell and saying, "Come on, Carla, you are still a musician. it's just one song on a 4-track....". "Flower" from our 1st tape, MK Ultra.
In addition to his time in Ethyl Meatplow, Napier (who was credited as Wee Wee) also formed the label Basura! and fronted the group Buccinator.
Some live footage of Ethyl Meatplow is available below.