Guitarist Ron “Rontrose” Heathman, who was a former member of the cowpunk outfit Supersuckers, has passed away according to statements released by bandmates and the group’s social media. A cause of death has not yet been announced, while details regarding Heathman’s personal life, such as his date of birth and place of death, have not been released.
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DAMN. I HATE WRITING THESE POSTS, but this one’s too close to home.. A dear friend of mine @rontrose1967 from the rock band @supersuckers has passed away. I had an endearing relationship with this band for many, many years (and still do). This truly breaks my heart. In my eyes, Ron was a quiet man, but when we did get a chance to chat, he was a clever, quick-witted, guy. He had so much passion for playing music, and knew everything under the sun about his guitars, motorcycles… (and he could brew the best damn cup of coffee on Earth). I’ll miss you, buddy…. 💔🤘🏼🎸
The guitarist helped form Supersuckers in 1988 alongside guitarist Dan “Thunder” Bolton, drummer Dan “Dancing Eagle” Siegal and frontman Eddie Spaghetti. The group eventually landed a deal with Sub Pop during the 1990s, which helped popularize their music across a predominantly grunge audience.
During his time with the group he recorded two studio albums, 1992’s The Smoke of Hell and 1994’s La Mano Cornuda, before taking a brief break from the group in 1995. He would come back a year after his departure and contributed to four of the group’s following albums before his next departure in 2009.
Canadian musician Rich Jones of The Black Halos recalled Heathman during a post on Twitter, stating: “Ah man, really sad to hear about the passing of Ron Heathman. We played a lot of shows with Supersuckers back in the day and Ron was always a really sweet guy and a hell of a player. RIP Rontrose.”
Ah man, really sad to hear about the passing of Ron Heathman. We played a lot of shows with Supersuckers back in the day and Ron was always a really sweet guy and a hell of a player. RIP Rontrose
— Rich Jones (@richloyalty) August 19, 2020
The performer was known as a quiet person, but was called “a clever, quick-witted, guy” by photographer Harmony Gerber. The band stated that they will post more updates regarding his passing once they “process this.”