Nashville’s growing garage-punk scene took a huge hit with news that local blogger, musician and tireless advocate Ben Todd was found dead in his home on Tuesday.
Metro police spokesman Don Aaron confirmed on Wednesday that Mr. Todd had committed suicide.
Mr. Todd was instrumental in becoming a voice and a point of coalescence for the underground rock scene, primarily through the foundation of the Nashville’s Dead blog (www.nashvillesdead.com
) in 2009.
The site became a clearinghouse for information about bands, new music, touring schedules and helped galvanize support for a scene emerging from deep shadows.
It comes at a time when Nashville’s rock scene enjoys its highest profile ever, thanks to commercial and critical success of bands like The Black Keys, along with Jack White and his label Third Man Records.
"Of all the Nashville spots I regularly bragged about, Glenn Danzig's House (the home of Ben Todd that was often used as a concert venue) was always in my top 3," said Dan Auerbach, singer and guitarist for The Black Keys. "I'd met Ben there and he always struck me as being very kind and enthusiastic. I know his many friends are reeling right now and my heart goes out to them and to Ben's family."
Some of the local bands that emerged from the garage-punk scene and were supported by Nashville’s Dead include JEFF the Brotherhood, PUJOL, Turbo Fruits and Heavy Cream.
In addition to his work as a tireless host and organizer for shows, Mr. Todd established the largest showcase for garage bands with Freakin’ Weekend in 2010. The three-day mini-festival, now in its fourth year, is scheduled for March 7-9.
On the Nashville’s Dead website, D. Watusi bandmate and close friend Dillon Watson posted the following message:
“Nashville, Tennessee lost its greatest asset yesterday. Ben Todd (b. 1988), party thrower, blog creator, record label owner, photographer, bass player, son, brother, boyfriend, and best friend, has passed on.
“As you can imagine, Ben’s presence will be especially missed here around Deadquarters. We’re all at a loss for words and still trying to figure out just how to keep going. We can’t say things will be the same, but know this: the party cannot be stopped as long as the Young People will it to be. Ben loved Nashville and lived to see the End sell out on a Monday night, and we’re gonna do our best to keep that going.”
Please check back for more information and funeral arrangements.