Asa Brebner, at 65; guitarist / songwriter in Boston bands and alone

Asa Brebner's story was one of pure and prudent enthusiasm. For many years, he put his head against the music wall with mixed fruit, and came up again and again to the creative explosion of another song that left their quality in faith.

“Why would it stop me from retiring? I would like to do it again next week, ”Mr Brebner, based in Cambridge, told the Globe in 1989.“ You have to enjoy it, because it's a strict gig. If one thing I have learned, there is no rhyme or no reason to sign the bonds. ”

He was soon proud of Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers, whose “Roadrunner” was recommended as the official Massachusetts rock song, and then to Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, whose video was “When Things Go Wrong” a key element in the early days of MTV.

But then the Chartbusters broke up, pushing Mr Brebner into a turbulent individual occupation, up and down where the singer / guitarist was mostly a local club legend. He was renowned for a wide range of music, from rock roots and punk to B&B and gospel, as well as fear, which Jack Kerouac-meet-Charles Bukowski hoped that “he had not happily suffered,” said John Pfister, bands for a long time.

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Mr Brebner, whose success in ecological visual art, folklore – exhibited at the Paradise and the Middle East – kept up until he died on 9 March of a heart attack at 65. A year old in his home in Littleton, NH, according to Loreen Ray from Cambridge, his girlfriend for a long time.

“He was hit down, but he kept trying,” said Ray, a mother of two boys aged 7 years, Django and Bowdie. “He was drinking unnecessarily lately, but he was very impressed with some new projects.”

She also said that she even started swimming at a local YMCA several times a week.

Mr Brebner died at the kitchen table, where he was making pencil diagrams for “Revenge,” which he described as a “biographical biography” novel. He planned to publish the recently completed book.

His musical career was emerging, including reunions with Robin Lane & the Chartbusters for two shows sold out recently by the Burren in Somerville and the Jewels Jewels, a group of R & B / doo-wop. He shared vocal duties together veteran the club Fred Griffeth. Her own group, Asa Brebner & the Naked I, played often too.

“For some time, I have had three years of depression and hand injury, which is a danger. I didn't stop playing completely about it, ”says Mr Brebner on Facebook. “But I'm back from the dark and I'm trying to play out.”

However, he also acknowledged that it is like Groundhog Day 's Day for us in the late medieval or senior classes. We must go in the back of the line. I have been playing in this town forever, but perhaps new people have never known as managers or bookings that you have been there, ”he wrote in one of his Facebook posts, without any obstacles.

Marblehead, a native of Mr Brebner, was born in 1953, the only child of the writers Winston Brebner and Ardell Cogswell. In the 1950s, Winston wrote the novel “Doubting Thomas”, which carried out reputable reviews.

Asa attended the progressive Cards school before working for 17 years to reach America, where the police picked him up and sent him to prison for drug smuggling.

“Yes, I did a year in prison and in a crazy dtearmann in South America (which would disable to Ecuadorian judge that I was undergoing aversion treatment treatment that marijuana),” Mr Brebner said later with a Music Museum. New England. “This was similar to the treatment Alex got in, A Clockwork Orange, 'but I wasn't getting it and I was released after a year in prison.” T

Mr Brebner, who also created a number of cartoons for the pro-marijuana High Times magazine, started with Mickey Clean & Mezz, one of the first bands to play in Kenmore Square, in 1974, at the Rathskeller, known as the Rat. This was followed by stints in Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers and Robin Lane & the Chartbusters.

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of, ”recalled the Lane after Mr Brebner's death. “When he was drinking, it was terrible and I wasn't going near him, but we loved him all.” T

She also said that Mr Brebner was “in love with his early success and that he should be better known in many ways. ”

Mr Brebner's individual career began in 1986 with Asa Brebner & the Idle Hands, who had their first album “Snow Prayers in Hell.” For six albums, he wrote music with real love songs like “Roses I Never Bought You”. ”And rocking, comic favorites such as“ The Flame Had a Poodle ”and“ Babes in the Bar, ”under“ Johnny College ”which strikes out in bars at closing time.

“His reputation was great and he had other things in his life. It was a big chinic, ”said Tim Jackson, drummer of the Chartbusters who is helping to celebrate the life of Mr Brebner, who will be announced.

Mr Brebner has been organized by Pat Wallace for many years and lived in the downstairs apartment in Mr Brebner's two-family home in Porter Square.

Wallace said that he and Mr Brebner had “friendship based on laughter,” and that Mr Brebner was an excellent father for his twin boys, fighting with night pillow fights with them.

There is no planned service for Mr Brebner, and Loreen Ray and her two sons have survived immediately.

“Asa was really fun and magical with those boys,” said Ray.

The boys, Mr Brebner, said on Facebook, “they are so full of life. They're full of victory 'I love them so much, without a trace of irony. ”

Mr Brebner also read philosophy, said Griffeth, his partner in the Family Jewels.

“We once went on holiday to Vieques with a group of people including Asa,” said Griffeth.

He recalled that while “the rest of us were relaxing on the beach reading litter novels,” Mr Brebner was reading “In Search of the Miraculous,” by the esotericist P.D. Ouspensky. “Suddenly Asa left for a while and came back with some feathers and bones. It was that voodoo rituals down back-somewhere. He was always looking for authenticity. ”

For many years, Brebstock held the Brebstock rock festival at the 200 Hampshire farm at New Hampshire which was presented by his parents. He recently met with the local municipal government to remain as a conservation land.

Many Boston musicians then traveled to tents and made a building on the property called “Gepetto's Barn”, with old furniture and vinyl records around it.

Peter Wolf, a long-time friend of Mr Brebner, from the J. Geils Band, spoke last week when he revealed that Mr Brebner was “a multi-talented artist, a family man and a real-rock rock roller”. . We had many nights and walked in the moon. ”

“Asa was always talking about her mind,” said Andrea Gillis, another long-time friend and a bachelor. “But it was an inspiration.”

Steve Morse can be reached at


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