Barker Gee, a self-taught Little Rock punk musician who made music with Neon Piss, Witches with Dicks, Pizzasaurus Rex, and the Jean Claude Jam Band died at age 32 in Conway last week. Gee was born in Blytheville, went to high school in New Madrid, Missouri, and attended Berkley School of Music in Boston, and spent time in California running his business, “A Man With a Van,” a moving service for college students in the San Francisco area. Jason White (Big Cats, Green Day, The Influents, and now, the band California) posted these words about Gee upon his passing on his Facebook page:
In Memorium: Barker Gee.
A spark-plug of a human being. I started getting inquiring emails from him at Adeline Records sometime in the early 2000s. “Rad! This kid’s from Arkansas and he knows my cousin” I thought. What a name! I figured it was a punk name or alias. Barker Gee. I never forgot it. We first met in Little Rock one year when he came to see my band The Big Cats annual holiday show at Vinos. Wild-haired, wide-eyed and full of life. I immediately liked him. A few years flew by and lo and behold he’d moved to the East Bay too. I saw him around here and there. He was in too many bands to keep track of. I finally played a show with him with The Wet Spots and couldn’t believe what a guitar player this guy was! They covered a Who song half-way joking and he was killing it! I mean enough to make Pete Townsend blush kinda killing it! All with ease. Like an afterthought. Turned out he’d studied at Berklee and was a total ringer… A fucking shredder. Yet, a true punk who’d never considered life any other way.
I wish I would’ve gotten to know him better. Being fellow southerners who’d gone west, I know we’d have had endless amounts of sorting out and discussions on the matter. I should’ve stayed and had a couple more slugs of bourbon with him in the parking lot last time I saw him. It sure hurts to know he’s gone. To his family, all his good friends, Janelle Hessig, Richie Bucher, and so many more… I am so sorry for your loss.
This is the only photo I have of the 2 of us in the same room. So stoked (or “tickled pink” in Arkansan) he was at this show. Pinhead Gunpowder at Gilman.