Brave Combo Drummer Joe Cripps Still Missing After Failing to Show Up for a Gig Two Weeks Ago

James Cripps said he became worried after his brother didn't show up for a gig — something he never did.EXPAND
James Cripps said he became worried after his brother didn't show up for a gig — something he never did.
Ed Steele

Celebrated Texas drummer Joe Cripps has been missing from his Arkansas home for two weeks, according to police and family who are asking for help in locating him.

Cripps, the former drummer for Denton-based polka band Brave Combo, was reported missing by his family and last seen Oct. 19 at a tavern in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he lives, according to a statement posted to Facebook by the Little Rock Police Department.

News of the disappearance of the popular percussionist, whose projects also included popular Denton alt-country band Centro-matic, sent shockwaves across the music community on social media.

Photo albums of Cripps, with his signature thick mustache, were shared with pleas to help find him. Friends and admirers left messages of hope and love on his Facebook page with the hashtag #comehomejoe.

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“Hope and praying for Joe Cripps to be found soon!” posted Mark Hazleton, a former classmate of Cripps' at the University of North Texas. “Joe is someone who embraces life and brings joy to all who are lucky enough to interact with him.”

In an interview with Little Rock TV station KARK, brother James Cripps said Joe Cripps didn’t have a working vehicle and so could not have driven away from the city. He also said he failed to show up to a gig after the night at the tavern, and missing gigs was something Joe Cripps didn’t do, his brother said.

A renowned percussionist who has played across the globe, a highlight of Cripps’ career was in the 1990s when he played on two Grammy-winning albums by Brave Combo.


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