Dance After Curfew
May 12, 2014 2:43 PM   Subscribe

He somehow straddled the line between Prog and New Wave. He remained hidden since 1979. He helped pioneer the use of drum machines. He founded the innovative trio, FM. As a solo artist, he recorded some memorable covers and original material. He announced his retirement in 2012. Influential Canadian musician Jeff Plewman AKA Nash the Slash, has died at the age of 66.
posted by davebush (30 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite FM song:
posted by jonathanhughes at 2:46 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aw man. :-(

I first encountered Nash the Slash as a character in Matt Howarth's awesome Savage Henry comics, reprinted (at the time) in Reflex magazine. I didn't know he was a real musician until a while thereafter.

posted by mykescipark at 2:47 PM on May 12, 2014

^ Likewise. There's going to be an amazing show in Bugtown tonight, I hear.
posted by ardgedee at 2:54 PM on May 12, 2014

Another obit of Nash the Slash in the Edmonton Journal
posted by ardgedee at 2:56 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Sys Rq at 3:08 PM on May 12, 2014


I always liked the "Direct to Disc" or "Head Room" record. Sounds sort of like early Mahavishnu Orchestra.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:15 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also an unfortunate supporter of Rob Ford.
posted by docgonzo at 3:27 PM on May 12, 2014

I was always partial to his goofy cover of We're An American Band.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:46 PM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

What Mykescipark said. Except not as reprints.

posted by egypturnash at 3:46 PM on May 12, 2014

> I always liked the "Direct to Disc"

Great music except that's FM without Nash.

Most of Nash's sites are placeholder pages, or down entirely. But here's one for Two Artists, his collaboration with Robert Willem Vanderhorst.
posted by ardgedee at 3:56 PM on May 12, 2014

I was a fan, saw him once solo in either the 70s or the 80s and once or twice solo with FM - I think it's conceivable I didn't get onto to them till the Ben Mink years (also a really killer player).

Didn't even know his real name till today. Never saw him since I left Ottawa.

posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:58 PM on May 12, 2014

Saw him a bunch of times in St. Catherines and at Round 1 in Thorold. I had a long sleeve Nash the Slash t-shirt, a very passable fake ID + spending money from working at Woolco. The best.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:17 PM on May 12, 2014

Memories of TVO from '76...FM playing their big "hit"... so cool
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 5:28 PM on May 12, 2014

posted by Smart Dalek at 6:42 PM on May 12, 2014

Another person here who was introduced to Nash the Slash by Matt Howarth, along with a number of other musicians. I regret never getting the chance to see him perform, as well as the fact that he stopped doing music due to piracy.

I haven't seen nearly enough of his stuff-I hope someday, somehow, I can see more.
posted by happyroach at 6:44 PM on May 12, 2014

My favorite FM song

Mine, too -- it's One O'Clock Tomorrow from Black Noise.
posted by Rash at 6:49 PM on May 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Holy shit bonobothegreat - I was at that Round 1 show too. Are we talking about the night the fire department showed up?
posted by davebush at 7:12 PM on May 12, 2014

I saw him with FM at the University of Windsor pub...must have been about 1987. It was a great show from a great showman. RIP Nash.
posted by rocket88 at 8:36 PM on May 12, 2014

I saw him play with FM at the (Osborne) Zoo in Winnipeg. I'd never seen a performance like that before, and returned the next night for another show.

The recordings never matched the odd magic of those shows.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:56 PM on May 12, 2014

Also an unfortunate supporter of Rob Ford.

Damn, I'd hoped you were kidding.
posted by item at 10:11 PM on May 12, 2014


My favorite FM song

Mine, too --

make that three of us, and now I'm quoting from the deep archives ...

It wasn't the first time I did psychedelics. It wasn't even the first time I got really HIGH on psychedelics. But it was the first time I really "got it" – the psychedelic truth about EVERYTHING. It was maybe half way through FM's 1980 concert at the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse, the lead electric mandolin player (he also played electric violin, no guitars in this outfit) was extending the solo on One O'Clock Tomorrow to genuinely superlative ends. But it was when the singer came back in. That was the moment. "Centuries have passed in moments, the futures we have seen". It all clicked, made perfect sense. Time was an abstract. Time was an illusion. It was so simple. It was so (shit) ... lost my train of thought.

Though, it should be clarified, Nash the Slash was no longer with FM for that concert, replaced by the also amazing Ben Mink (what kind of city has two working electric violin/mandolin maestros? I'm looking at you, Toronto.)

Then, maybe a year later, I caught Mr. Slash's solo show at the Commodore. These were mostly pre-digital days, so he spent a lot of time between songs getting all his loops etc in order, but once he got things rolling, they rolled very, very well. I seem to recall a version of Baba O'Riley that stopped time for a while.

As for his recordings, my fave is his mid-80s take on Psychotic Reaction.
posted by philip-random at 10:49 PM on May 12, 2014

I was turned on to him by the music review pages in Heavy Metal back in the early 80's. The one time was going to get to see him (Catalyst in Santa Cruz) he canceled due to illness.
I always liked his rework of Peter and the Wolf.
posted by boilermonster at 11:35 PM on May 12, 2014

I remember him as the support act for one of Gary Numan's early tours (I think it was the Touring Principle in 1980). Apparently, Numan and band were getting set up for their first Canadian dates in Toronto; they went out one evening, saw Nash the Slash playing in a club and immediately (and cruelly) cancelled the booked support act in favour of him.

On digging in, I see he was also on the 30th anniversary Pleasure Principle tour, which is a nice bit of continuity.

Here he is playing out Joy Circuit on stage with Numan et al, Wembley '81.
posted by Devonian at 6:12 AM on May 13, 2014

I also saw him opening for Gary Numan. His set (which included his incredible violin-windmilled Baba O'Reilly) made Numan's set seem almost like an afterthought. I just looked him up a few months ago, and was pleasantly surprised that he was still gigging and recording.

. wrapped in bandages
posted by SPUTNIK at 6:24 AM on May 13, 2014

> Mr. Slash

Do you call Iggy "Mr. Pop" as well? ;-)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:38 AM on May 13, 2014

absolutely, until we've been properly introduced.
posted by philip-random at 10:34 AM on May 13, 2014

Holy shit bonobothegreat - I was at that Round 1 show too. Are we talking about the night the fire department showed up?

Fuck yeah! I think it was about 130 degrees inside and his bandages kept slipping off.

I was the kid with the red hair and the pimples.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:37 AM on May 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do you call Iggy "Mr. Pop" as well? ;-)

Meat Loaf = Mr. Loaf.
posted by mykescipark at 2:20 PM on May 13, 2014

Recall seeing Nash/FM live at The El Mocambo. Part way through his cover of Baba O'Reily, it dawned on me that the upcoming final violin solo would be excellent.
posted by ovvl at 4:27 PM on May 13, 2014

Also became a fan through Matt Howarth's work. Along with his longer works (Savage Henry, Those Annoying Post Brothers) he did music reviews for a little Philly music zine that I liked, and can't remember the name of. When I discovered, not very much later that Nash was a real person, I got very excited and bought his (at the time) only album. It was awesome, instrumental, and reminiscent of Krautrock. I was less excited by his later vocally centered work. However I will always love him and miss him already. And as ardgedee said, There's gonna be one hell of a concert in Bugtown tonight.
posted by evilDoug at 4:53 PM on May 13, 2014

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