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Sid McCray, Original Bad Brains Singer, Has Died


Sid McCray, who was the original lead singer in iconic hardcore band Bad Brains, has died. The band confirmed the news on Facebook, and his family posted a GoFundMe seeking assistance for a memorial service. “R.I.P to the Don, my brother—sail on,” the band wrote.

Prior to McCray’s tenure in Bad Brains, he was friends with H.R. He’s credited in the H.R. oral history Finding Joseph I as the person who, in 1977, introduced the band to punk rock. Then a jazz fusion ensemble called Mind Power, he played the group records by the Sex Pistols and Ramones. (The Ramones song “Bad Brain” ultimately influenced the band’s name.) He was the band’s first singer, but he left before they made their first recordings.

“I sung with the band for a little while, but I fizzled out because I saw H.R. was a much better singer,” McCray said in the book. “It wasn’t a competition thing; I just thought he was a better singer, more theatrical.” He also explained that he didn’t gel with H.R.’s reggae influence at the time. “At that time, they saw Bob Marley [in concert] and I wasn’t ready to see Bob Marley. I still had some running and tearin’ things up to do, so we split ways.”

McCray reunited with Bad Brains in 2017 for his first performance with them in 39 years.



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