Monday, December 27, 2010

Former Eric Johnson Drummer Bill Maddox Killed In Botched Burglary

Drummer Bill Maddox, who formerly played with guitar wizard Eric Johnson, was killed in his home during a burglary in Southwest Travis County on Monday morning. He was 57.

Two men were shot and one killed during a home burglary in southwest Travis County early Monday, according to the Travis County Sheriff's Office.  The Travis County Medical Examiner confirmed that Maddox's body was at their office, but the results of an autopsy were being withheld by the Sheriff's Department.

The intruder, identified by KVUE News in Austin as 63 year old John Debrecht, was shot and injured, and taken by StarFlight to University Medical Center Brackenridge, authorities said. His condition is unknown.

Maddox and Johnson, along with Stephen Barber and Kyle Brock were members of the Electromagnets, a popular jazz-rock fusion band that debuted at the Nickel Keg in San Marcos in San Marcos.According to a website  on the band , Electromagnets was influenced by Weather Report and Chick Corea. Most of their material was instrumental.

Maddox went on to play with various bands, including reunions of the 'Magnets, in the Austin area. He appears on several of Johnson's albums, 1996's 'Venus Isle', 1998's 'Seven Worlds', Alien Love Child's 'Live and Beyond' in 2000, and most recently on Johnson's 2005 release 'Bloom'. He also played in Omar and the Howlers.

Travis County Spokesman Roger Wade said the homeowner called 911 and said the home was being burglarized around 7:30 a.m.

There are a lot of very good drummers out there, but when you see a great one, you know it,” said Musicmakers owner David Baldry, who grew up in Abilene with a tightknit group that included Barber, Johnson, bassist Kyle Brock, vintage rocker Johnny Dee and Austin City Limits Live general manager Tim Neece. “Bill Maddox was a great drummer.”

Chris Maresh played bass with Maddox in Alien Love Child, Johnson’s bluesy side-project. “He brought so much energy to the band,” Maresh recalled. “He was like Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Maddox also played guitar and was a passionate collector of vintage Fender guitars, an expensive hobby he could afford because he worked for Dell Computers when the company started.

“At first I think he worked on the loading dock,” Maresh said, “but it ended up being quite lucrative because Billy bought every stock option he could.”(Photo credit : Steve Wheeler)

The Electromagnets "Minus Mufflers" 1975 :

Maddox with Eric Johnson and bassist Chris Maresh, live at the House Of Blues 2001 :

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