David Dennard sends along the sad news today: David Hill, guitarist and singer in seminal Dallas new-wave band N.C.M., died at 4:30 this morning after a bout with liver cancer. In the photo above, that's Hill at far left, along with Neal Caldwell and, at the drums, Randy Caldwell. Dennard has known Hill since the 1960s, when Dennard was in the Novas and Hill was playing in the competing Sensations. And only recently, they'd begun playing again in Jackpot!, though Hill -- "a recluse," Dennard says, who didn't have a Social Security number or driver's license or bank account -- was reluctant to play live. That's a recent Jackpot! performance photo below.
Says Dennard, Hill turned down an offer to play guitar with Joan Jett during the Blackhearts' heyday and instead moved to Seattle, where he became a guitar tech for the likes of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. N.C.M.'s Neal Caldwell, who shuttered VVV Records 13 years ago, has his own memories he'd like to share, but he's working at the moment; I'll update after speaking with him. Till then you can hear Hill here on N.C.M.'s 1980 single "Ultimate Orgasm," which featured cover art by Frank Campagna. Jeff Liles sends word that Hill also used to paint under the name John Miller.
Dennard says Hill's health had been poor in recent months: He suffered a stroke during a Jackpot! rehearsal this summer and refused to see a doctor. Only two weeks ago friends gathered to collect money to cover his rent till he could find someone with whom he could spend his final days. Funeral arrangements are pending.