Guitarist Bryan Gregory of the Cramps, a band that helped launch the punk music revolution in the late 1970s, died Wednesday at Anaheim (Calif.) Memorial Hospital. He was 46.
Cause of death was not available. The guitarist, a Detroit native, had recently suffered a heart attack and had been ill for several weeks, his former wife, Robyn Hunt, said.
The Cramps made their debut in 1976 at legendary punk rock club CBGB’s in New York. Gregory was known for his wild antics onstage and his distinctive black hair with a lock of white hanging over his eye.
“He was into feedback,” friend Andrella Christopher said of Gregory’s musical style. “He loved making the most obnoxious sound he could get out of that guitar.”
The band released two albums, “Gravest Hits” in 1979 and “Songs the Lord Taught Us” in 1980. Although Gregory left the group in 1980, band members Lux Interior and Poison Ivy continued to perform as the Cramps.
Gregory also appeared with other Cramps members as “punk thugs” in the 1978 film “The Foreigner.”
After leaving the Cramps, Gregory performed with the band Beast from 1980 to 1984, and with the Dials from 1992 to 1995. He had recently formed a new band called Shiver.
Gregory is survived by a daughter and a sister.