The e-mails began arriving in the Unfair Park in-box at around 10 this morning. They said: Frank Campagna has died, referring to the longtime muralist and beloved owner of the Kettle Art gallery in Deep Ellum. But, no. It was not Frank. It was his son, 24-year-old Frankie, frontman for Spector 45, who has been a familiar face in Deep Ellum since he was a little boy.
Save for the anguished messages beginning to fill his Facebook page, there are scant details at the moment: The Dallas County Medical Examiners Office says Frankie was brought in at 7 this morning and that an examination will not be performed till later this afternoon.
Moments ago, his father sent this official statement:
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Frank Anthony Campagna died unexpectedly on January 1st 2011. Born October 21st 1986. Frankie was a talented musician and graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual & Performing Arts. Best known as Frankie 45 and front man for the greaser punk band, Spector 45 he delighted audiences with his over the top antics on and off the stage. He worked as a bartender at Amsterdam in Exposition Park and was loved by everyone in the Deep Ellum area as the handsome, greasy, tattooed 24 year old rock n' roller. Survived by his father, Frank Campagna; sister, Amber Campagna; mother, Angela Early; stepmother, Cindy Campagna; grandmother, Winifred Martin Campagna; aunt, Wendy Fahle; and cousins Scott & Erin Fahle. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Deep Ellum Community Association.
Spector 45 had a New Year's Eve gig in Deep Ellum. This is the last thing Frankie wrote on his Facebook page: "Getting ready to kill it tonight at the bone for new years!"
Update at 2:50 p.m.: Via Facebook, word is Kettle Art's doors will open at 7 tonight for those wishing to make a condolence call and pay their respects.
Update at 4:10 p.m.: The Dallas County Medical Examiners Office has ruled Frankie's death a suicide. His father is planning a memorial concert for this week. Pete will have more details forthcoming on DC9 at Night.