R.I.P. Sarah Kirsch of Pinhead Gunpowder, Fuel, Torches to Rome
Published Dec 06, 2012In a truly sad bit of news, Bay Area punk vet Sarah Kirsch, who played in such bands as Pinhead Gunpowder, Fuel and Torches to Rome, died yesterday (December 5). Word of Kirsch's passing was delivered by Ebullition Records, which released a number of records that she had played on over the years.
"Today we lost Sarah; an inspirational artist and great person. My heart fell into my gut when I heard the news. She will be dearly missed," the imprint's Lisa Oglesby posted on Facebook.
Last year, Kirsch had been diagnosed with Fanconi anemia, a genetic disorder that can cause leukemia and other cancers. Earlier in the fall, her friends noted on a financial assistance-aimed donation page that she had been undergoing chemotherapy to combat the Fanconi anemia-affected bone marrow, which was having an effect on her body's production of blood cells.
Kirsch, born Mike Kirsch before identifying as a woman, started her career back in the '80s and took part in a number of bands throughout the '90s. Some of the notable acts she sang and played guitar in include Fuel, pop-punk supergroup Pinhead Gunpowder, Torches to Rome, Bread and Circuits, Sawhorse, and Navio Forge. Kirsch also played on a Fifteen 7-inch in 1990.
Most recently, she had played guitar in Baader Brains, who released their New Era Hope Colony LP this year through Ebullition, and played guitar and sang in Mothercountry Motherfuckers.
"Mike became a central part of Ebullition in many ways," the label's Kent McClard added. "He played in many of the bands that I put out on Ebullition. And I must have done at least 50 shows over the years that involved one of his bands. The last two releases (John Henry West and Baader Brains) were both bands that Kirsch was involved with. Very hard to imagine that she is now gone. A great artist, musician, and thinker. Goodbye old friend. You will be missed."
UPDATE: According to reports, Kirsch was 42 at the time of her death.
Thanks to the Daily Swarm for the tip.