Published Jan 14, 2010Wax Trax! Records co-founder Dannie Flesher, who was influential in the rise of industrial music, has died at the age of 57. He reportedly passed away from complications with pneumonia on Sunday evening (January 10).
In 1974, Flesher and partner Jim Nash, who passed away from AIDS-related complications in 1995, founded Wax Trax! as a record store in Denver, CO. Four years later, they relocated to Chicago and, after specializing in rare bootlegs, decided to expand their business into a record label. Many of their artists went on to be pioneers in the industrial scene, and prominent signings included Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Front 242, KMFDM and others.
Despite their success, Flesher and Nash declared bankruptcy in 1992, and Wax Trax! was sold to the New York-based TVT Records (the home of Wax Trax! followers Nine Inch Nails). The founders retained creative control over the imprint until Nash's death in 1995.
A few years after his partner's death, Flesher retired from the music industry, although TVT continued releasing albums under the Wax Trax! imprint for some time. In 2005, he retired to his hometown of Hope, AR.
You can still visit Wax Trax! Records in Denver; although Flesher and Nash didn't retain any input after 1978, the store's new owners bought the store "to preserve their tradition."