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Brent Grulke, creative director at SXSW, has passed away at age 52
August 13, 2012 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Brent Grulke, creative director at SXSW, has passed away at age 52. A friend of Grulke writes this memory, indicating the cause of death was cardiac arrest while having oral surgery.
posted by CNNInternational (24 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck! He and I shared sound man duties at The Beach Cabaret for a little while back in the 80's. Haven't seen him in years, but the untimely, early deaths have been piling up around here lately, and it's getting weird.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:06 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by ewan at 4:09 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by bjgeiger at 4:18 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by lazaruslong at 4:44 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by lapolla at 4:48 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by hanoixan at 4:52 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by verb at 5:14 PM on August 13, 2012


cardiac arrest from oral surgery? How does that even happen? Awful.
posted by modernnomad at 5:15 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by trackofalljades at 5:45 PM on August 13, 2012


That sucks. I have several friends that have worked with him.

"cardiac arrest while having oral surgery"

Strange... While this sounds tantalizingly close to how I would like to die, it's actually one of the ways I would least prefer.
posted by markkraft at 5:47 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm sorry, I can't Rock You All Night Long" is one of the great Austin songs of the era, too - right up there with Glass Eye's "I Don't Need Drugs to be Fucked Up."
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:57 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by smcdow at 6:00 PM on August 13, 2012


I read that sentence too fast. I missed the word surgery.

Sorry to hear about Brent.

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posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:10 PM on August 13, 2012


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I wonder if the epinephrine in the local anasthetic may have caused it.
A normal anesthetic shot once made my heart start racing, and when I mentioned it to the dentist, he said, "I must have hit a vein." He explained that sometimes it happens.
Now I get shots with no epinephrine...it just shortens the duration a bit.
posted by whatgorilla at 6:23 PM on August 13, 2012


I knew someone who died under similar circumstances and he was in his 20s. All surgery comes with a measure of risk, but this is so unbelievably sad.


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posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 6:54 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by mattbucher at 8:04 PM on August 13, 2012


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posted by shecky57 at 8:08 PM on August 13, 2012


oh hell no.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:08 PM on August 13, 2012


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I met him in the early years of SXSW when it was still fun...so very sad and such a strange unexpected death. My heart goes out to all of his friends and family.
posted by Isadorady at 12:20 AM on August 14, 2012


Well, Damn. He was such a pivotal part of that unselfconscious, enthusiastic, "fan" culture that made Austin magic. "Hey kids, lets go down to Liberty Lunch and put on a show!"
posted by pomegranate at 3:52 AM on August 14, 2012


cardiac arrest from oral surgery? How does that even happen? Awful.
Oral surgeons have taken to putting a person completely under for common procedures like wisdom tooth extraction. Just a guess, but I suspect it was something like that. I'm not sure if they have an actual anesthesiologist in the room or not.

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posted by Thorzdad at 4:43 AM on August 14, 2012


Oral surgeons have taken to putting a person completely under for common procedures like wisdom tooth extraction. Just a guess, but I suspect it was something like that. I'm not sure if they have an actual anesthesiologist in the room or not.

Oral surgeons actually rotate on the anesthesia service during training so that they will be qualified to perform deep sedation once they are out in practice. Sometimes they push the limits of their skills, though, and problems can result. This is even a bigger issue with dentists who have not had any additional training in sedation. You get away with doing something risky one time, and it doesn't seem so risky; much the way Michael Jackson was killed. It might not have been a problem with sedation, though. Life threatening reactions to local anesthetics are rare, but can occur in a few different ways. Mr. Grulke may have had a medical condition (known or unknown) that put him at higher risk. Without more detailed information it is hard to say what happened and who, if anyone, is liable.

It isn't always this way. In the children's hospital where I work we do a lot of dental procedures under general anesthesia, and in that case an anesthesiologist is involved. We have an excellent safety record, even in children with serious medical problems.

In any event, this sounds like a real loss for Austin; sorry to hear about it.
posted by TedW at 5:45 AM on August 14, 2012


Or the cardiac arrest is unrelated to the oral surgery.
posted by Pendragon at 6:35 AM on August 14, 2012


Damn. He was still so young. Back in the '90s I had a summer internship at the Austin Chronicle while Brent was still around there. I didn't get to know him too well, but he seemed like a great guy: down to earth, dryly funny, and super-knowlegeable about lots of different types of music (and he also helped ensure I got to do some reporting and writing about the local scene, besides typical intern work like tabulating results of the annual readers' poll). I didn't keep in touch with him or any other Chronicle people, but the friendly, smart atmosphere there made me want to stay in the world of alt-culture and music journalism (which I did for many years and still do part-time these days).

Here's a good interview with him from 2001, and some remembrances from people on the SXSW website.
posted by lisa g at 3:18 PM on August 16, 2012


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