Remembering D. Boon Of The Minutemen

Daily Breeze:

Dennes Dale Boon died 30 years ago this month, on Dec. 22, 1985, to be exact.

{As frontman for the Minutemen} Boon had become a talented guitarist with a distinctive staccato picking style that meshed with {Mike} Watt’s increasingly fluid bass playing and {George} Hurley’s innovative, jazz-influenced drumming. They were a part of the punk scene, but the band’s music, with its elements of funk, hard rock, jazz and punk, was unlike anyone else’s on the scene.

Daily Breeze music writer Michael Lev captured it best in this 1985 appreciation of Boon:

“On stage, D. Boon as performer and singer was pained. He didn’t bother to keep his huge body under control. Instead, it grabbed him, flinging him around the stage so it appeared he was holding onto the neck of his guitar for dear life.”


Gary Waleik in The Observer:

D. Boon was a self-described corndog, but he shed his inhibiting outer layer and became much more; a prodigiously talented guitarist, a spectacular showman and a wonderful songwriter and singer. He fronted a band that, though usually labeled “punk” or “post-punk” was sui generis. Minutemen records sound as fresh and challenging today as they did over 30 years ago. But the most ringing endorsement I could offer is that D. Boon was truly one of the nicest men I have ever met, a rare kind soul in a business that usually exalts and rewards the exact opposite.


It almost seems like an understatement to say that the Minutemen changed my life. They opened me up to the idea that a band doesn't have to be pigeonholed to exist. They introduced me to the art of the lyric. They helped me become politically aware and concerned with what happens in other parts of the planet. They sold me on the worthy ethos of 'jam econo'. So much change in so little time … I embraced the Minutemen in their heyday and soon after I'm reading about D. Boon's fatal accident in a bottom-of-the-page news item in Rolling Stone Magazine. I still listen to them often – unarguably more than any other band that I was into in my teenage years – and I believe I'm still learning from them.