Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Obituary for Gyn Cameron Stover, of Dementia Precox
I learned yesterday that my friend of over thirty years passed on this past Saturday, September 24th 2011. Cameron was a fixture of the Dayton punk scene and as a fixture myself, we were bound to be close as the scene was plenty small. He and I first started talking as he liked my Nuns button and anyone who even knew the Nuns was going to be an instant friend. But Cameron (I believe his real middle name and what he went by in later years) and I really hit it off better than most as we shared a comfortable middle class upbringing (he in Beavercreek, OH) with plenty of personal difficulties to deal with and a view to searching out and participating in exciting and challenging high-art and low-art projects. He started an important and locally successful band called Dementia Precox. I released their first 12" ep and worked with them on various live shows over the years. Their industrial post-punk sound was ahead of its time, but due to the usual problems, did not come out quickly enough or complete enough to showcase it on a National scale. Cameron was the main songwriter, singer and keyboardist. He was supplemented with the usual other instruments, although percussion was often on industrial metal canisters and other found metal objects. The music was dark and throbbing or playful and soaring. They were one of the many great, yet mostly forgotten cult bands of that era. I have videos of a live show where the Mayor of Dayton introduced the band and said their set was one 'that we were all looking forward to very much.' Robert Pollard named them with Toxic Reasons as the two key bands of the Dayton scene when he was forming Guided by Voices. They opened for the Ramones once or twice and had several legendary shows in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Lexington, Kentucky.
Cameron and I loved psychotronic cinema and oddball things in life and the arts. We would have many mini-marathons of Dark Shadows watching on TV where our other friends would be constantly nodding off while we gleefully watched Jonathan Frid and Grayson Hall battle it out in Collinwood at 3am. We hung out it Dayton, Chicago, Florida, wherever we could find each other in recent decades. As often is the case, I didn't see him enough toward the end, but the fun times are forever burned in the memory. And I still have the music.
His health did not appear to be at its best the last time I saw him a few years ago when I spent a weekend at his home in St. Petersburg, FL. But his spirit was in great shape. We hung out visited some of his friends and haunts, but mostly just watched loads of movies and talked. We were both stunned that Spiderman II seemed worse than Catwoman, and if even if few agree with me, it's nice to know he had my back on that one. He had pretty much given up on music then but through our talks, over the last ten years or so, he felt a little more invigorated by what he had accomplished. He mentioned that he liked having me in Florida to remind his local friends of his 'other' life in music. He had every right to feel proud of what he and Dementia Precox had done.
I believe he is survived by his parents and sister and her kids. I have not kept up with his family, but his Mother was always a dear. There is plenty more to say and but I'll just leave it here with the above random thoughts and stories.
And if you want to have a listen to the lead song on the ep I put out, check out Maladie d'esprit.