The original frontman for the Flamin’ Groovies, Roy Loney, has died at the age of 73.
No cause of death has been publicly revealed, although a friend, Roberta Bayley, wriote, “He was hospitalized last week, and I spoke to him Wednesday. He was in good spirits. He had a surgery this morning and never came out of it.”
‘We are all deeply saddened and stunned to learn that our dearest friend and bandmate, Roy Loney, passed away this morning,” the band wrote on Facebook yesterday.
The Flamin’ Groovies came together in San Francisco in 1965 when guitarists Loney and childhood friend Tim Lynch, who’d been in a few bands together, began working with guitarist Cyril Jordan, bassist George Alexander and drummer Danny Mihm. Three years later, they released the self-financed Sneakers EP, which helped them get signed to Epic.
But the commercial failure of their debut full-length, 1969’s Supersnazz, ended their time on the major label, and they moved to Kama Sutra Records, where they put out Flamingo and Teenage Head over the next two years. But the lack of sales, coupled with creative differences with Jordan, caused Loney to leave shortly thereafter.
Loney then went behind the scenes, taking industry jobs — including, as KPIX notes, working as a sales representative for ABC Records — during which time the Flamin’ Groovies recorded the power pop classic “Shake Some Action” with new singer Chris Wilson. Loney resumed his singing career in 1978 with a solo EP. He formed the Phantom Movers with Mihm a year later and continued to release music until 1993.
He and Jordan reunited in 2009, and Loney had signed on to be a special guest on a Flamin’ Groovies tour of the U.S. and Europe in 2019, where they would perform the entirety of Teenage Head. But in June, while he was at the airport to go to Scotland to begin the European leg, he fell and sustained a serious head injury and he was unable to make the tour. It’s unknown if the injury was related to the surgery that was attempted yesterday.