With the beginning of the co-headlining Jagermeister Tour with Hawaiian reggae rockers Pepper, the Long Beach punk rock natives Pennywise suffered a tragic loss this past week. Kristian Dragge, the younger brother of founding guitarist Fletcher Dragge, passed away at the age of thirty nine, leaving behind his fiancee and one-month-old daughter. No cause of death has been given as of yet, but guitarist Dragge posted a tearful, yet brave statement on the band’s myspace page:
My brother Kristian has been a member of the South Bay punk rock scene since 1980 and was at one time the guitar player in the infamous Smut Peddlers. He was a legend in the punk rock community and was well know for his hell-raising antics, along with his fierce loyalty to friends and family. He will be greatly missed by everyone. He has been a huge part of the Pennywise family since Day One.
A charity in his daughter’s name, Avery Nycole Dragge, will be set up shortly on behalf of this loss. With the tour beginning on April 13th in Seattle, Washington, it may seem the quartet’s legendary “Bro Hymn Tribute” will take on yet another personal meaning. As if punk rock can’t unite people in times of need, Pennywise and Pepper will certainly feel like coming home to family every night of the tour.