R.I.P. John Napier of Ethyl Meatplow

> Nov 11 2012

R.I.P. John Napier of Ethyl Meatplow
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.

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She said in her eulogy that he didn't have much contact with him, but insists she knows it was drugs. I don't think it was her place to make that statement without proof. It is disrespectful to his (close) friends and family that have been with him for the last few years. I personally think Carla should retract that statement until someone has access to an autopsy. Just because she was in a band with him doesn;t make her the mouthpiece for his death. Maybe she should have kept in better touch with him, so she would actually have a clue.
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I thought the same exact thing as soon as I read Bozulich's self-absorbed post. Does she have any respect for John's family? Answer is, NO...
But I'm sure she got a lot of hits on her FB page which was her motivation in the first place. What does she care? She hated John and hadn't spoke to him in over 15 years. Why not throw out one last good rumor? If it is true, then have the decency to let his family make a statement.
Death has no mercy...I'm sure John wouldn't be surprised by Bozulich's carelessness...But then again, that is why he hadn't spoken to her in years....RIP Mr. Napier...RIP...
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Gena and Longfellow, I agree that it's not helpful to purport "it was drugs that got John in the end" -- that's a generalization based on passed experience from 20+ years ago without contact between the years, and if anything minimizes John's state of being as he passed. There's much more to the story than what's being told. For now, let loved ones heal. Thank you.
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Also, Johnny was born as John Fitzpatrick Napier, January 21, 1965, in Los Angeles County.
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Thanks Louise...it's good of you to pass on John's full name and DOB...He was a special guy.
And you are right, let the Loved Ones heal their loss...
As far as Bozulich is concerned, people that know her already know what she's about....this is nothing new for her to look for headlines at someone else's expense. Classlessness is an easy drink for her...
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Hugs to you, Longfellow. I was a close personal friend of John's since 1985 through Anti-Club when he was in a dynamic duo band with a bass player named Doug and their group then was called Incest Cattle (later Insect Idol when drummer joined). Thereafter, John did some time and was out of civillian life for five years due to bad choices made. John experienced extreme hardship in prison but became motivated to get an education. Upon release, he took up remedial jobs and then began taking general education courses at City colleges. I recall recording in Biff's studio, Motiv, from 1986 - 1996 and seeing John off and on at the studio from about 1990 onward, then Ethyl Meatplow. It was incredible how the group stormed ahead like wild fire-- an exciting new band full of energy, outrageous, bold, daring, DIFFERENT and good music. I could hear a lot of John's soul in Ethyl. An old song from Incest Cattle, "Rat Poison" (Repercussion) set the precedent. Over the course of life, John fathered a little girl (name tattooed on arm), was married, then divorced, moved bunches of times, toured, performed in many other bands and experimental theatre, including: Pressurehead, Baldylocks, E Coli, collaborations with Stephen Holman (Theatre Carnivale), Len del Rio... this is off top memory and written while exceedingly tired and from grieving heart. I know John loved his mother and sister, adored being an uncle, was very proud of having earned his Masters in Psychology and social welfare to become a therapist and social worker. He worked with numerous at-risk youth, especially teens in foster care if not in the system, helping them become future focused, heal..... John set up self-sustaining programs for low income youth, and would go out to no man's land areas inhabited by meth addicts where needles littered pathways, places avoided by most people. John was also a vegetarian, animal friend, loved cycling, beach combing, meditating for hours daily, cooking, cooking, cooking. He also held a deep love for people and an abundance of surrender and awe with God, Nature, Buddha, was metaphysical, scientific, aspired to be self-sustaining and 100% green... talked about building a home by scratch using large truck wheels fileld with plastic bottles containing cat litter.... entertained a plan with me to cooperatively share an old motel along Route 66, convert it to 'old punk's home' and offer friends rooms to reside in upon retirement age..... this is the John I know. I knew the wild and crazy guy John as well but deep down inside, the true John did not need trappings, was not interested in conflict-- loved life fervently, collected antiquated medical text books, put others before himself....... One I suppose could ask why then die by one's own hands.... well, sometimes grief is too great..... sometimes old hurts resurface. Thus for Johnny, it was not drugs that got him in the end but matters much too deep to generalize. What I can say of John, Johnny, John Doll, Johnny Napier.... He so loved and felt intensely, intelligently... accidents were not in his repertoire, thus parting was no accident, and for this reason, I grieve all the more. If only love were enough to combat old wounds. Consider why so many soldiers 'give up' after duty...... PTSD.......
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R.i.p John Napier. I got to see Ethyl Meatplow in San Francisco at The Kennel Club in 1984 opening for some forgotten band- they STOLE the show from the headliner and will go down in My book as one of the most over the top shows EVER. John made Perry Farrell look like fucking Liberace tinkling on Ivories. He was a force of nature...-el MALO
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His name was John Fitzgerald Napier.
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How sad. He was a good guy. Very talented, funny and unique. Someone should think before they speak ill about the dead. Wrong.
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Longfellow got it right.
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