David Freel, frontman of San Francisco psych band Swell has died, aged 64.
His death was confirmed in a post on Facebook by the band, who said he passed away on April 12. No cause of death has yet been announced.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Swell’s David Freel, in Oregon City at 2:10 A.M on April 12, 2022,” they wrote.
“In the years after Swell’s touring schedule, David found a home and a family in Oregon. For 14 years, he continued to create; whether that be music or Vinyl On Demand, he always had a project at hand.
“David led with spontaneous curiosity and an appreciation for the world around him, always learning more, he even learned how to surf. His final released project ¡¡ GREASY !! of Be My Weapon was an example of his eccentric genius as a musician.”
It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Swell’s David Freel, in Oregon City at 2:10 A.M on April 12, 2022….
The band added: “David is loved and missed but never forgotten. Just play one of his songs or close your eyes to see his presence on stage. He will be there strumming his well-loved, ramshackle 1970s Takamine. The admirers of Swell and David Freel will mourn his loss but celebrate his life and legacy. As David would say, live every day like it is your last and never say goodbye, but rather see you soon. Thank you.”
Former Swell bassist Monte Vallier also wrote a lengthy tribute to the late frontman.
He added: “The Swell days were some of the best ones of my life, also the most challenging. What held me there was the gravitational pull of David. I was lucky to be one of the planets in his orbit.”
This tribute is from Monte:David Wendell Freel was a private man. He didn’t share very much about himself, except in…
They signed to Rick Rubin‘s Def American label for the their second album ‘…Well?’ and went on to release a further nine LPs, before Freel dropped the band name completely on 2009 album ‘Be My Weapon’. His last record was 2014’s ‘Greasy’.