Obituary: Dave Vucenich / Bass player for The Cynics and Mount McKinleys
Nov. 13, 1966 - Feb. 5, 2017
February 9, 2017 1:19 PM
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Flipping through the Facebook page of Dave Vucenich, you discover pretty quickly how much he loved his mom, loved his pets and loved rock ’n’ roll.
The Harrisburg native, who was a vital part of the Pittsburgh music scene as a garage-rock bassist and record-store clerk, died in his sleep Sunday at his home in Troy Hill at 50. His cause of death is unknown.
After graduating from Cedar Cliff High School in Cumberland County in 1985, Mr. Vucenich moved here to attend the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a bachelor’s in communications.
His passion was for garage-rock and the smiling “Demon Dave,” who played in the Harrisburg band The Pallbearers. found the perfect outlet here as a member of The Cynics from 1993 to 1995 when the Pittsburgh band was touring nationally and internationally behind the albums “Learn to Lose” and “Get Our Way.”
Cynics guitarist Gregg Kostelich described him as “a good soul” who also helped out at the Cynics’ label Get Hip Records on the North Side. Soon after his stint with the Cynics, he went on to join primal garage band The Mount McKinleys, who recorded on the Get Hip label.
Mr. Vucenich was employed at both Eide’s Entertainment and Jerry’s Records, where he could surround himself with his beloved singles from the ‘60s.
“He was an employee for over 10 years and the best 45 sorter in America,” said Jerry Weber, who owns Jerry’s Records.
More recently, he was a paralegal at Weiss Burkardt Kramer LLC.
"He was a genuinely nice person, clever and ridiculously knowledgeable about music,” said Eric Vermillion, who’s played in such bands as Gumball and the Steel Miners. “He brought people together. Back in the Steel Miners and Mount McKinleys days, we used to call him ‘the glue’ because we all knew each other through him."
Mount McKinleys frontman Prescott Hedgethrow (real name Kurt Edwards) posted on the band’s Facebook page, in part, “Dave's playing and singing greatly improved the McKinleys sound from the first time he showed up; his good taste and love of sharing music expanded all of our minds. Even during the tough times and long van rides brought on by some poorly-planned tour booking, Dave could be counted on to keep his sense of humor, as well as his distrust of the Man. It is rare to find a guy that believed in rock music as a revolutionary idea who also had so much love for his folks and family.”
Mr. Vucenich is survived by his mother, Patricia A. Vucenich of Mechanicsburg; sister, Diane Vucenich (David Kolsbun) of St. Thomas, USVI; brothers, Theodore M. (Heidi) of Monterey, Calif. and Mark D. (Lisa Essman) of Lewisberry, Pa.
Visitation will be from 1:30 until memorial services at 3 p.m. Saturday at Parthemore Funeral Home, New Cumberland.
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