Lo-Fi Loss: Jim Shepard Dead - Rolling Stone
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Lo-Fi Loss: Jim Shepard Dead

Pioneering indie rocker Jim Shepard commits suicide

The experimental rock scene lost one of its leading lights over the
weekend when Jim Shepard, the charismatic leader of such
influential underground bands as Vertical Slit and V3, committed
suicide at his home in Columbus, Ohio.

Shepard, who was forty-four, began his primordial assault on the
collective consciousness back in the late Seventies, presaging the
lo-fi revolution to come on a slew of self-released cassettes and
micro-pressed albums. After an enforced break — one caused by a
work injury that left him with a severely mangled hand — Shepard
turned the Vertical Slit “project” into a full-time band, with an
attendant name change to V-3.

In an odd twist of fate, that band would actually garner a major
label deal, signing to American, which released the 1996 opus
Photograph Burns. Never one to let anything change his
modus operandi, Shepard recorded the disc for under $500, making it
one of the notoriously in-the-red label’s few releases to actually
turn a profit. Still, the union didn’t work out, leaving Shepard to
self-release what would be the final V-3 album, Pimping in the
’90s
. Outside his own records, Shepard also lent his musical
talents to numerous indie and metal projects, including Guided By
Voices frontman Robert Pollard’s ’96 solo debut, Not In My
Airforce
(guitar, vocals, engineering) and last year’s Judas
Priest tribute album, Legends of Metal, on which he played
bass.

In recent months, Shepard had been working on a wide variety of
solo material, some of which is likely to be released next year. He
is survived by two sons.

Newswire

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