Dr. Know (real name Gary Miller) of the seminal reggae-punk band Bad Brains has been hospitalized recently and is on life support, according to several social media posts from friends and colleagues in the music business.
According to Rolling Stone, Greg Tate — a Rolling Stone contributor — originally found out about Dr. Know’s condition through a Facebook post Sunday, by 24-7 Spyz guitarist Jimi Hazel, who took to the social media outlet to ask fans and friends for prayers and “PMA” — positive mental attitude — to be sent to the Bad Brains guitarist, who is currently in hospital battling for his life.
“Please join me in sending massive amounts of prayer and PMA for Dr. Know, who is fighting for his life at this very moment. Please, ask me no questions. Just send all the love that you can for my brother in wires … Love, prayers and healing energies we send out for the recovered health, well being and longevity of our brother Dr. Know. Strength and blessings to his entire extended family as well.”
An outpouring of love and support for the Bad Brains guitarist has been shared across social media from fans and friends since Sunday — including posts from Agnostic Front, the Mountain Goats, Living Color singer Corey Glover, and the Dean Ween Group, who asked in a Facebook post on Monday for fans to pray for Dr. Know “or at least smoke a huge spliff and keep him in your thoughts.”
Though the cause of Dr. Know’s hospitalization is still undetermined as of this writing, Spin has confirmed that he is, in fact, on life support. Yesterday evening, it was also confirmed in a post by Dr. Know’s band, Bad Brains, that their long-time friend and guitarist was fighting for his life.
“The Bad Brains family ask that you please keep Gary (Dr. Know) Miller in your thoughts and prayers. The family respectfully ask that their privacy be honored during this time and very much appreciate all the great energy that is being sent their way.
“Positive vibes and PMA!”
Dr. Know, 57 — one of only two original Bad Brains members to remain in the band — joined the punk outfit in 1977, and has performed very little outside the group in the nearly four decades since, though in May, he performed as part of the Regulators at New York City’s annual Black ‘N’ Blue hardcore festival, and in July, he took the stage with the Foo Fighters, as well as Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer for some Bad Brains covers. Dr. Know also joined with Bad Brains bandmates Jenifer and Earl Hudson this summer, as part of the ongoing Woodstock Sessions series.
Though Bad Brains released their last album, Into the Future, in 2012, it was reported on the Woodstock Sessions website that the band would be recording portions of their session for an upcoming release.
Bad Brains originally formed in 1975 as a jazz fusion band called Mind Power. In 1977, the band was introduced to early punk bands such as the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and the Dead Boys. They soon became obsessed with the heaviness and speed of punk music, and opted to change their name — the name Bad Brains was an homage to the Ramones song “Bad Brain” — and their sound. Their unique mix of reggae and punk saw the band gain an early reputation in their hometown of Washington, D.C., but they eventually found themselves in the midst of a ban among Washington-area clubs. In 1979, Bad Brains decided to move their musical outfit to New York City, and they released their debut self-titled album in 1982.
Head on over to Bad Brains’ official Facebook page and send your positive thoughts to Dr. Know and family.
[Image via Facebook / Bad Brains]