News By Evan Minsker and Amy Phillipson July 9, 2012 at 10:27 p.m. (EST)
Dennis Flemion of cult heroes the Frogs is missing and presumed dead, Matador Records’ Matablog has announced. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the 57-year-old resident of West Allis, Wisconsin went missing after going for a swim on a lake in Racine County on Saturday. (Thanks to Joseph Kyle for the tip.)
Brothers Dennis and Jimmy Flemion formed the Frogs in 1980. They released albums on Matador and Homestead, among other labels, and became notorious for wearing flamboyant costumes during concerts and for their controversial lyrics about gender and race. They gained many famous fans and friends among the alt-rock celebrities of the 1990s. Dennis was briefly a touring member of Smashing Pumpkins, and the Flemion brothers collaborated multiple times with Billy Corgan. The Frogs appeared on a Pearl Jam B-side and were sampled by Beck on "Where It’s At". Last year, Animal Collective invited them to perform their album It’s Only Right and Natural at ATP.
Matador’s Gerard Cosloy wrote a lengthy post about Flemion on the Matablog:
"Dennis was without question, one of the funniest persons I’ve ever encountered. Painfully so. It would not be an exaggeration to say there were several times in which his verbal evisceration chops were almost impossible to keep up with (those who’ve attended Frogs shows over the years know exactly what I’m talking about). … The fantastic output and fleeting moments of near-fame aside, I hope he’s remembered as a really sweet guy first, and a hugely talented artist second. Our thoughts go out to Jimmy, the rest of the Flemion family, their friends and everyone who was lucky enough to know Dennis. Simply saying, ‘he’ll be missed’ doesn’t come close to covering it."
Billy Corgan Tweeted, "I’m devastated by the loss of my friend Dennis Flemion. Words can’t explain the sorrow. A tragic loss. Please pray for his family."