Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Antiseen's co-founder/guitarist passes away

Joe Young, the co-founder and guitarist for Charlotte-based punk rock stalwart Antiseen, passed away of a heart attack Wednesday morning. Young was a fixture in the Charlotte music scene since the early `80s. He was not only Jeff Clayton's partner in punk rock mayhem for 30 years wielding that famous chainsaw guitar, he also hung out and sometimes worked at the Milestone during its early peak and could speak at length about legendary shows there. He worked at Repo Records and helped relaunch the store when it reopened in late 2013.

Most of all he was a hell of a good guy.

Antiseen had upcoming US tour dates booked this May. The group played it's last local show at Tremont Music Hall April 19 to introduce its new drummer.

I'll write more about Joe with input from those that knew him best in the next few days and post information on his memorial when available. Tomorrow the Thirsty Beaver Saloon will host a special Thursday edition of Punk Rock Wednesday where they'll play Joe's favorite LPs and some Antiseen tunes in his honor.

Young's death comes as a shock to the Charlotte music community and fans all over the world who have been posting condolences on Facebook. I always looked forward to speaking with Joe whether it was for an article on the Milestone's history or for one of Antiseen's anniversary shows or just chatting since Repo reopened. He was warm, friendly, and knowledgeable. I imagined my husband, who was coincidentally wearing his Antiseen t-shirt this morning when he took the kids to school, would look a lot like Joe when he got older. They both wore curly graying long hair and were often armed with guitars.

We both feel very fortunate to have known him, that I got to write about his band in depth many times, listen to his stories, and that my husband's band got to play with Antiseen at one of Tremont's anniversary shows. I'm also glad my kids got to meet the guy whose picture hangs over our dining room table along with his angry-looking band mates. He'll be staring down at us for years to come.

Joe will be greatly missed.

Update: A memorial service will be held at Tremont Music Hall May 18 at 3 p.m.

(Recent photo of Young and from Antiseen's early days courtesy of Jeff Clayton)