And some people still haven't recovered from the great guitarist/vocalist's tragically early passing in a van accident on Dec. 22, 1985. Boon's death at age 27 ended Minutemen's reign as one of the American underground's most important and exciting bands.
At their best (Double Nickels on the Dime, What Makes a Man Start Fires?), Minutemen sounded like a fearless, fearsome union of the Pop Group and Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band—all highly torqued rhythms, rusty, stabbing guitar, spazz-jazz bass, and ruggedly poetic lyrics. Both live and on record, they were a punk-funk tornado of brilliance. I was lucky enough to catch Minutemen live in ’85 at a Detroit club called Traxx (Laughing Hyenas and Die Kreuzen opened). D. Boon was a whirlwind of energy; he moved with surprising agility for a chubby dude. His early exit has been a huge blow to American music. RIP, D. Boon.