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MX-80 DISCOGRAPHY | MX-80 - Please send us your thoughts about Dave

Dave Mahoney

Dave Mahoney, who drummed for MX-80 over a thirty-year period, passed away in April, 2006. Dave was a remarkable musician and one of the funniest and most perceptive people I've known.

I began playing with Dave in 1974 in a house on West Sixth Street in Bloomington. There was a "real" musician who lived across the street from Dave and we invited him over to play with us and after about five minutes the guy packed up his guitar in disgust and said something like, "You guys just play whatever you want, don't you?" As far as I know, that was the only musician who didn't enjoy playing with Dave.

Dave and I recorded the Chinaboise tape in 1975. In addition to drumming, he sang on several songs. Dave sang beautifully. He had a weekly gig playing and singing with a country and western band at places like the local Moose Club. I accompanied him to a couple of these gigs and was in awe of how the local ladies stared at him when he sang Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.

After Chinaboise, Bruce Anderson asked us to join his then instrumental-avant garde band MX-80. During the next few years, Dave, along with drummer Jeff Armour, created an incredible racket that -- with Bruce's searing guitar work -- defined MX-80.

After the band moved to San Francisco and Jeff Armour left the group, Dave, as sole drummer, somehow managed to incorporate both a free wheeling improvisational style with disciplined rock rhythms. His performances at live shows were always inspiring.

Dave was totally dedicated to good music and stuck with MX-80 through the good times and bad. He also performed and sang with me in other side projects such as Playette and Poetrafonics as well as with angel corpus christi and projects with Bruce, Dale and Cynthia Lloyd.

Playing with Dave changed my life in several ways and I'm sure there are others who can say the same.

Rich Stim

Folks, my condolences. I been an avid MX80 Sound fan since the 90s and collected all of your albums and side projects. I remember coming from a record fair with the magic "Crowd Control" album in tow, and after listening to the opening chord of "Face of the Earth" i knew that was it! It was maybe most magic moment in music! When I got my band, we just tried to cover songs we love the most; we tried "Why are We Here" and "Obsessive Devotion" plus "Cover to Cover" and when it goes for the drumming aspect of the songs, we all wondered, "what the heck is he playing" and "now this is insane!" when we finally tried "Night Rider". Having learned Jazz drumming myself, i have never heard such a brilliant, sensitive and unique drummer again, when it comes to Rock'n'Roll. You have lost a friend, the music scene has lost a groundbreaking musician; regardless of genre and era.

Hugs from Germany, Cosgrove

I enjoyed listening to Dave, and was thankful for the opportunity to have played with him. He was known to be integral to MX-80, but I also recall that he offered his services as guest Gizmos skinman after Jim D. and before Shadow M. Fortunately some of his drumming from 12/77 was recovered and is expected to appear on the upcoming Gulcher Records release, The Gizmos Live In Bloomington.
In those seventies days Dave was fun and free, and he played to his own beat. I was glad to know him.

Ted Niemiec

Dave Mahoney

PS In case you are interested, I found this blurry pic of Dave playing with the Gizmos at MCPL in '77.

I always wanted to see MX-80 perform. Never did. This is sad, sad news. I loved the band.


Mahoney was one of the very few unique drummers in the Rock world. MX-80 remains one of the true treasures to discover. Regardless of genre and era. (NP: City of Fools)


Sorry to hear about Dave Mahoney. I don't believe I ever met any of the MX-80 guys, but I always enjoyed their music. "Train to Loveland" still pops into my head from time to time.


Dang! Dave's playing was/is a vivid inspiration to me and I have very fond memories of the MX-80 experience from way back when. A fond GIZMO salute to Mr. Mahoney - sticks, away!

Shadow M

Frankly the guy was one of the best drummers in seventies rock (and afterwards), on a par with (or perhaps even surpassing) his influences. I'd say that only Tony Williams (Lifetime), Billy Ficca (Television) and the great Sunny Murray were his equals, and that's no post-morten hyperbole!


Perhaps the best show I ever saw was MX-80 in Dale's basement in Bloomington replacing a Monroe County Public Library show that was canceled during the gas crisis. It was pure joy to be sitting essentially among the band and watching you play. Dave was amazing to watch as well as hear. I never otherwise met Dave, but loved his drumming. My sympathies to his friends and family.

Phil Hundley

Dave Mahoney

Oh my g-d, awful news. Along with Jeff Armour, Dave Mahoney was one half of my absolute favourite twin-drum team, the tight-but-loose standard by which I measure all other such duos. That would have been achievement enough. But for Dave to completely alter his style of playing to compensate for Armour's departure was an even greater feat. His Chinaboise contributions were great, too. My sincere condolences to Dave's family and friends. R.I.P


Two Hobbits
1968 , August. :::: Dave's 18 and I'm almost 19 ( one month to go ) . We drove w/ my Grandma ( her car , she drove ) to NYC for something to do. She let us listen to the radio as loud as we wanted. She turned her hearing aid off. After about two hours , she suddenly turned the radio off . She sez ::: This man has been following us for an hour now , so I'm going to pull over and let him pass. As he comes along side , he rolls down his window , puts on his RCMP style hat and waves us over. He's a State Trooper. He wants to know why we are going 90+ MPH for the last hour. Only logic will prevail ::::: Gram sez " I'm taking my grandson and his friend to NYC to see his uncle." Cop sez " slow down " and leaves Grandma w/ a warning. Logic Prevails. As soon as he is out of sight ( outasite !!!!!) :::::hearing aid off , music up , 90 MPH again. We get to NYC and my uncle sez ..... check the Village Voice ( never heard of it before ) for something to do. We find Sly and the Family Stone at the Electric Circus. We go and while we are outside the place on St. Mark's Place we get offered our first LSD . No thank you ( didn't know what it was ) !!!!! Great show. On to Massachusetts .... Brockton , to visit a college buddy of mine. Now hitch hiking . Got let off at 4 AM 30 miles from nowhere. So we walk. And Dave explains the whole JRR Tolkien series " the Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings " trilogy . He sez :: This would make a great movie. We were hobbits. We slept in a church that night. The doors were open and we woke to a mass that next morn. I have read it five times since and seen the movie.


A few pages on Dave Mahoney from Paul Dodd

Please send us your thoughts about Dave

Dave Mahoney 1950 - 2006

examples of Dave singing

Roomful of Voices Playette

Dear Tears (Chinaboise with Kim Torgerson)

Sodium Nitrate (Chinaboise with Rich)

Dave Mahoney

Dave Mahoney

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Dave Mahoney

Dave Mahoney

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More Dave Mahoney Photos