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Models/Sacred Cowboys Drummer Johnny Crash Dies

Johnny Crash aka Janis Friedenfelds, influential drummer in Melbourne’s new wave experimental scene, has died. Cause of death was not announced immediately.

Crash was best known as a member of sonically abrasive bands as JAB, The Models and The Sacred Cowboys.
 
His passing was confirmed by Models founder Sean Kelly on Facebook, who described Crash as “a very caring person and a loyal friend.”
 
Friedenfelds adopted the Johnny Crash name when he formed punk band JAB in Adelaide, the band taking its name from founder members Ash Wednesday and Bohdan X (Bodhan Kubiakowski.  They were arguably the first Australian band to fuse electronica experimentation with punk DIY and guitar attack. They moved to Melbourne in mid-1977 and were embraced by a scene that was breaking barriers.
 
One of their biggest fans was Kelly, then with Teenage Radio Stars, “They brought an impressive air of authenticity to the Melbourne punk scene,” Kelly recalled .Not surprisingly, Friedenfelds was in the original lineup of The Models. He was with them when they recorded their debut album Alphabravocharliedeltafoxtrotgolf in 1980. Kelly recalled, “When programming prototype electronic drums, or syncopating a groove, Johnny was the best going around."
 
Friedenfelds moved to Sacred Cowboys, a confrontational swamp-blues band whom Molly Meldrum described on Countdown as "the worst group I've seen in five years” (which they sported as a badge of honour) and then in 1984, briefly, alt-southern gospel band Slaughtermen.

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