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Pete de Freitas 6/1989

pete-de-freitasJune 14, 1989 – Peter Louis Vincent Pete de Freitas (Echo & The Bunnymen) was born one of 9 siblings on 2 August 1961 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and educated by the Benedictines at Downside School in Somerset, South England. His father was famous copyright attorney Dennis de Freitas,

He joined the Echo & The Bunnymen in 1979 to replace Echo, the band’s drum machine.

In the beginning they were like a little clockwork band. Just three young Liverpudlians and a drum machine called Echo. The Bunnymen played their frail, tick-tock tunes in little rooms, and looked as if they might split up on the spot if you asked them to. But there was a definite magic being born. They got better by the day, and nearly became the biggest group in the world. For a time in the 1980s they were the darlings of the British rock scene, and perhaps its brightest hopes.

In 1980 they released their debut LP which hit #17 on the UK Chart, followed by the EP ‘Shine So Hard,’ it was the first album to crack UK’s Top 40 Chart. In 1981 they released ‘Heaven Up Here,’ thanks to many great reviews,it became the band’s biggest Top Ten UK album. In 1983 they released ‘Porcupine’ and launched the Top Ten single, ‘Fine Cutter.’ In 1984 they released “The Killing Moon” which became there second Top Ten hit. Also that year they released the album, ‘Ocean Rain,’ it hit #4 in Britain and the album went into the US’s Top 100.

A sign of trouble came when Pete de Freitas temporarily absconded from the band in late 1985, throwing himself into a doomed group called The Sex Gods, on a lurid American “lost weekend” of rock’n’roll debauchery and regular car crashes.

Drug escapades, insecurity, and manic delusions were to take their toll on the man manager Bill Drummond says was once “the sanest and most balanced of the Bunnymen.” The madness peaked in 1986 when he relocated his freewheeling solo project, The Sex Gods, to New Orleans, where his behaviour became even more unpredictable. “Pete basically was having a breakdown,” said his brother, Geoff.

Shortly after, in September 1986, he returned to the Bunnymen and in 1987, De Freitas married, while his daughter Lucie Marie was born the following year. But whatever personal strides he was beginning to make, they were sadly cut short by the motorcycle accident that ended his life at age 27 on his way to Liverpool from London.

He died on June 15, 1989 at age 27, another member of the 27 Club.

The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch said: “I remember the day he died, playing Marquee Moon and crying over the line ‘I fell sideways laughing with a friend from many stages…’ because that’s exactly what he was.”

A little more than 20 years later Jake Brockman, another touring member of the band also died in a motorcycle accident in much the same way on the Isle of Man

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