Bush Tetras drummer Dee Pop died in his sleep last night (October 9). His representative Trip Warner confirmed the news to Pitchfork. He was 65.
Dee Pop was born Dimitri Papadopoulos in 1956. He grew up idolizing Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, and Keith Moon, but it was Tommy Ramone that would inspire him to start playing despite a lack of formal training.
In 1979 he would join Bush Tetras, who became an integral part of the New York no wave scene and remained a fixture in downtown culture alongside Sonic Youth, the Contortions, Television, Lydia Lunch, and others. In a 2007 interview with Modern Drummer, he said of the band: “Everything we do is organic, meaning that we have no pre-mediated plan for our sound. While it’s not improv, our music isn’t carefully calculated. Rather, it flows from us naturally, encompassing what we know and naturally feel. With The Bush Tetras I have the freedom to try anything. There are no rules.”
Original Bush Tetras bassist Laura Kennedy died in 2011. In a statement, Pop’s surviving bandmates Cynthia Sley and Pat Place said:
Pop would later collaborate with jazz musicians like William Parker, Eddie Gale, Roy Campbell, Freedomland, and Hanuman Sextet. His latest projects were with his group Radio I-Ching, which he described as playing improv, Americana, jazz, blues, and other music, “sometimes all at once.”