Garage Rock Icon Andrew Loomis Dies Aged 54

10 March 2016 | 11:48 am | Staff Writer

The veteran muso was best known for his work with US punks Dead Moon

Pic via GoFundMe

Pic via GoFundMe

Venerated punk and garage-rocker Andrew Loomis — best known for his work as the drummer of cult Oregon punk outfit Dead Moon — has passed away at the age of 54, his partner has confirmed.

Per The Portland Mercury, the news is especially tragic given the fact that Loomis had spent many of his final months battling lymphoma after a diagnosis last year, but was cancer-free at the time of his death.

Taking to the band's Facebook-based fan page to break the news, Loomis' partner, Neva Knott, explained that the drummer's health had taken "a sudden and sharp, unexpected turn for worse a couple of weeks ago" and that he'd been being monitored in hospital since 25 February.

"Tests determined he had a series of mini strokes at home, then developed respiratory problems over this past weekend," she wrote.

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"This morning he was put on a morphine drip, passed peacefully with his brothers, sister, Ruby Ann Swaner Whitfield, and me with him … Ironically, he is still cancer free."

Dead Moon - who also featured renowned husband-and-wife duo Fred and Toody Cole - were an indelible part of Portland's burgeoning DIY scene in the 1980s and '90s, releasing 10 studio albums (as well as a handful of live LPs and compilations) over their near-20-year stint together.

Following their dissolution, Loomis went on to drum for Washington outfit The Shiny Things, reuniting with his Dead Moon bandmates in 2014 for a series of concerts. However, according to The Portland Mercury - and they would know, we guess - Loomis' contributions to Oregon rock'n'roll extend well beyond his contributions to Dead Moon, explaining that, while he mightn't have been a traditional mainstream success, Loomis' "achievements were enormous and his loss is incalculable".