Rocket writer, Champion of Local Music, George Romansic dies at 58

hqdefaultIf the name George Romansic rings a bell, perhaps you read his name in the book titled, “The Strangest Tribe: How a Group of Seattle Rock Bands Invented Grunge” or perhaps you heard his name mentioned on the legendary KRAB or Olympia’s KAOS. It could have been in what we like to call the greatest music publication the world, The Rocket. He did all those things and more, always a champion for local indie music.

George Romansic passed away on Sunday January 25, 2015 after a 10 month battle with brain cancer, according to his son John. George didn’t just leave his mark on the music scene of the northwest though. Patti Smith, who was performing at the Moore Theatre last week, showed Romansic some love from the stage.

Rocket299Romansic was raised in Dover, N.J., and came west in 1976 to attend The Evergreen State College, where he became involved in the heady punk-rock scene that helped set the stage for grunge and Nirvana. Romansic was also a drummer and from what we have heard a damn good one. In the early 80’s he sat behind the kit for bands like The Beakers and Danger Bunny. Danger Bunny also featured his wife-to-be, vocalist Joan Maneri.

From K-Records: The Beakers were a hack fit of four art-bashing funk wave arbiters who skronked into action Jan. 1980 and expired in Jan. 1981. In between they toured up and down the west coast, released a 45 and songs on two compilations, played shows with Delta 5 and Gang of Four, and recorded several times. The majority of the 17 songs on Four Steps Toward a Cultural Revolution (KLP163) have never been released before; the handful that were once available are now long out of print. The four Beakers, George Romansic, drums, Mark H. Smith, guitar and vocals, Jim Anderson, sax and vocals, and Frankie Sundsten, bass, were an abrupt, powerful force on the Seattle musical scene, who through the force of their personalities and charmingly abrasive music made that town quake, dance and smile.

As good as a drummer and writer as he was, he was perhaps most widely known in Seattle’s music community for his work since 1979 as a representative for City Hall Records, which distributes hundreds of independent underground labels.

Along with his wife and son, Mr. Romansic is survived by his daughter, Maddie, of Seattle, and four sisters in New Jersey: Geri Romansic, Beth Romansic Calvert, Louise Van Brunt and Diane Gertloff.

Plans for a memorial have not been finalized.


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