Anton Fier, Golden Palominos founder and early Feelies drummer, has died

The drummer, composer, producer and bandleader collaborated with countless artists throughout his prolific career

Anton Fier, a drummer, composer, bandleader and producer who was an early member of The Feelies, formed the Golden Palominos and collaborated with countless other artists throughout his career, has died.

News of Fier’s death was shared by Syd Straw, who performed with Fier in the Golden Palominos in the 1980s, playing live and contributing vocals to 1985 album ‘Visions of Excess’ and its follow-up, 1986’s ‘Blast of Silence (Axed My Baby For a Nickel)’.

“Devastated to tell you of the sorry demise of Anton Fier, who never realized how loved he was,” Straw wrote on Facebook on September 21. The Feelies paid tribute to Fier on Twitter, sharing an image of their former drummer with the caption, “Peace, Anton.”

Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1956, Fier joined the Feelies in 1978 and, despite leaving the band a year earlier, played drums on their 1980 debut album ‘Crazy Rhythms’. Fier was also an early member of avant-garde jazz group the Lounge Lizards, playing on the group’s self-titled 1981 debut. He also performed in the Voidoids, and was briefly a member of Pere Ubu.

Fier formed the Golden Palominos in 1981, and served as its bandleader for decades, joined by a revolving cast of other musicians that consistently included bassist Bill Laswell and guitarist Nicky Skopelitis.

Headed by Fier, the band shared its self-titled debut album in 1983, and released seven more albums up to 1996’s ‘Dead Inside’. In 2012, the group released a collaborative album with Kevin Kinney titled ‘A Good Country Mile’, which served as the Palominos’ first recorded output in roughly a decade and a half.

Among Fier’s many other collaborators throughout his life were Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman Bob Mould, Bootsy Collins, avant-garde saxophonist John Zorn, Jack Bruce, John Greaves, Kenji Suzuki, Makino Kazu and more. His production work included the Kinney-fronted Drivin ‘n’ Cryin’s 1988 album ‘Whisper Tames The Lion’, 2009 album ‘The Great American Bubble Factory’ and more.

“Anton Fier brought endless power, emotion, and intensity to all the music he created and touched,” Mould wrote on Twitter. “I learned so much about music from Anton. I’m so grateful for the time we had together. Rest In Peace, my friend.” Others to pay tribute to Fier so far include John Lurie, Jon Wurst and Jason Narducy. See those below:

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