Anton Fier, drummer for bands including the Feelies, the Lounge Lizards, and the Golden Palominos, has died. Fier’s bandmates in the Feelies confirmed the news, paying tribute to Fier in a statement shared with Pitchfork. He was 66 years old.
“Last evening, we received the sad news of Anton’s passing,” the statement reads. “For far too short of time, throughout our own musical journey, we had the pleasure of playing with him. As a musician, Anton held himself to a very high bar, which in turn inspired those around him to be better. We all lost a wonderful musician, a truly great drummer. And peace has found him.”
Fier was born on June 20, 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio. His interest in punk music brought him to New York in his early 20s, playing drums on the Feelies’ landmark 1980 album Crazy Rhythms before leaving the band shortly after its release. Fier went on to join John Lurie in his noisy, jazz-punk group the Lounge Lizards, and performed on their 1981 debut album. Later that year, Fier recruited John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Bill Laswell, and Fred Frith to join his band, the Golden Palominos. The group’s lineup would rotate frequently, with Fier, Laswell, and Skopelitis as its longest-serving members.
An in-demand drummer in New York’s downtown scene, Fier performed on records with Pere Ubu, John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Gil Scott-Heron, Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Arto Lindsay, Mick Jagger, Bob Mould, Swans, and more. He also served as a producer with acts including Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, the Grapes of Wrath, and Joe Henry.
Following Fier’s death, many of his friends and bandmates have taken to social media to pay tribute to the musician. “Very sorry to hear about the passing of Anton Fier,” John Lurie wrote on Twitter. “The Lounge Lizards would never have gotten off the ground without him. He showed us how to work on music. Demanded it.”