A day to remember a lost friend: D Boon


Dennes Dale Boon died on this day in 1985. Some people like to remember John Lennon on his death day, for me it’s D. Boon and the end of the Minutemen.

D. Boon was a fat guy in a uniquely weird punk band. He was a working class guy with a great mind and a huge heart. I went to countless Minutemen shows for the two years I had the privilege of being his fan. To me he meant a whole world view: resistance to Reaganism, the DIY ethic, punk rock that was passionate for change, and just plain old big sweaty fun.

I saw the Minutemen at colleges, in bars, on big stages, in record stores, on the street, in the middle of nowhere, anywhere they played. I jumped up and down and shouted and sang the lyrics with them, dived for the set list after shows, yelled out requests and got them played. Double Nickels on the Dime was a life-changing record for me.

I want to thank D. Boon for teaching me that resistance is possible, that art is for everyone to make, and that you can dance your ass off and make your point at the same time. I’ve missed him for 20 years now, but he gave me that.

Here’s the first of their songs I ever heard, in 1983 on KPFK:

Little Man with a Gun in his Hand (MP3, 4.5M)

18 thoughts on “A day to remember a lost friend: D Boon

  1. Double Nickels on the Dime was a life-changing record for me.
    me, too, it was one of those albums that opened new doors for me in terms of how i heard music. they were revolutionary. i have the same vinyl copy i bought fifteen years ago, in excellent shape despite repeated plays. thanks for the tribute.


    1. I got Zen Arcade at the same time after hearing Husker Du’s version of “8 Miles High”. Between them, those two SST double albums framed my life perfectly.


      1. yeah, i got Zen Arcade around the same time, too, but due to my age, like with the Minutemen, i was a few years late to it so the first Husker Du album i bought was Candy Apple Grey, a pretty nice sonic blast. for some reason i was never able to get into Zen Arcade in a huge way.


      2. i’ve listened to “pink turns to blue” a number of times in the past week. the 4th side of zen arcade was very instructive when i first heard it and it still is. bob mould makes dance music now…?
        i got into the minutemen through an old skate video (bones brigade?) that featured ‘i felt like a gringo’ (also inexplicably included on our wedding mix).


  2. They started out great and got better.
    The desert bus adventure was epic and “joy at sea” on the boat was real fun too.
    But their last show, in the missle silo at Angel’s Gate, was so amazing the crowd was absolutely dumbfounded, staring at each other shaking their heads with jaws hanging after it was finished.
    Boon was a genius.


  3. Well said, sir.
    I joined the party too late to hear D. in person: All I have are the recordings, and there’s still nobody I’ve heard that could write and holler political tunes like he could.
    Consider yourself friended.


  4. Hey. I had never even heard of these guys, but on the strength of your eulogy I ordered Double Nickels on the Dime. It just came today, and I’m enjoying it! This style of music has never been my favorite (Gimme a break, I’m a dork fag piano player) but I totally get where they’re coming from and I can imagine how amazing they were live. Great energy.
    I think I’ll have this on rotation in the car for a while.


    1. chemistry
      d. boon to me is an icon. with that said, minutemen tore it up as a whole. ‘nickles’ is my favorite album of all time and i hold minutemen as the greatest band of all time. boon, watt, and hurley were the epitome of chemistry and boon’s death (in my opinion) halted a musical revolution that could have changed mainstream music for the better. the world could benefit from getting to know ‘nickles’. america (en masse) will always fail to recognize real talent due to television, top 40, and everything else socially aceptable in this sickening industry. we jam econo is the greatest thing to happen to music in a while.


  5. Hey –
    I just found this post while I was searching for the story about the officer who got killed when he kicked the anchor chain. I was going to print the story out and show it to my dad. I think he’d like it.
    Anyway, I have no Minutemen at all and was hoping you’d make this (or any!) track available for download. I’m DYING out here in the ‘burbs, man.


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