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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki RIP - Bryan Harvey (guitarist for House of Freaks)
RIP - Bryan Harvey (guitarist for House of Freaks)
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2006-01-29 11:49 pm   Permalink

It took me almost a month to learn about this, so I feel this might be old news to some of you. Bryan Harvey, ex-guitarist for the band 'House of Freaks' and later 'Gutterball' was found murdered along with his wife and two daughters (age 9 and 4) in their Richmond, VA home on New Years Day.

I didn't know Brian personally, but 'House of Freaks' was one of my favorite semi-local bands. I saw them perform several times around 1987 at the old 9:30 club, and was immediately greatly impressed with their sound. Brian played guitar and did lead vocals, while his colleague Johnny Hott played drums. I have never before or since then heard a fuller, richer sound from only two musicians, and I tried to see them every chance I could, and hopefully turned on a few people to their music.

House of Freaks relocated temporarily to the Los Angeles area, and they received some airplay on alternative stations and 120 Minutes, but they eventually ended up moving back to Richmond, just a 90 minute drive south of where I now live.

Johnny Hott showed up at the Harvey residence this past New Years Day for what should have been a happy cookout with his bandmate's family and other close friends, only to discover the house on fire, and his friend and family dead.

I feel so sad. It is so odd how music can touch one's life. I can remember sitting in the backseat of car in in Dallas, TX, and hearing over the radio the news about Roy Orbison dying, and tears started to roll down my cheeks, while those in the front seat just chattered on, unmoved, as if nothing had changed. Well, I found myself crying when I heard this latest news, and the whole tragedy of it all.

The following link is to an article about the slayings. They have since then arrested two men for this horrible crime. Along the right column is a set of links to other related articles. If you click on the 'Slideshow: Harvey Family', you will see various photos - picture #4 is a 1996 photo of Bryan and Kathryn Harvey, posing with tiki mugs in front of them.

and here is a piece by guitarist Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate) who perfomed in the band Gutterball with Brian Harvey


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2006-01-30 09:14 am   Permalink

I loved that band and they were one of the best live shows I saw when I first moved to San Francisco. They had a phenomenal sound for only two players. When I saw them at the DNA Lounge, probably around '89, they started the show with the drummer snapping out a fife & drum-type marching beat, and the guitar player walked out from the back of the upper floor. He marched all around the small club, right through the crowd, playing the whole time. It was a great start to a very memorable show. I recounted this show to friends for years.

I whittled down my vinyl collection over the years, but HoF is one that I kept. So sad to hear about the loss.

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