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R.I.P. Mikey Offender & THE OFFENDERS- Lost Cause, c/w Rockin the Town 7″ (Suffering Sounds, USA, 1981)

offenders06.jpgSeveral blogs and newspages report the unexpected death of Mikey “Offender” Donaldson. Mike died of yet unknown reason at the age of 46.

This is what the Austin Music Source says:

Punk legend Mikey Offender reported dead

The Bravewords Web site is reporting — and former Offenders drummer Pat Doyle confirms — that the great punk bassist Mikey Donaldson (Offenders, DRI, MDC) died in his sleep Saturday in Barcelona, Spain. He was 46. Cause of death has not been determined. He’s survived by a brother and two sisters, who all live in Killeen.

When I moved to Austin in 1984, I hung with the punk crowd over at Voltaire’s. Back then, a lot of kids were identified by the home town’s they came to Austin to escape. You had the Vidor guys — Tommy Pipes, Buddy Boy and Elbo — the San Antonio guys like Jeff Smith and Paul & Gibby, and you had the Killeen guys, who included Davy Jones, Mikey Donaldson, Richard Hayes and Fat John.

The most authentic hardcore band in town was the Offenders, Austin’s answer to Black Flag, with a scary lead singer, a lightning quick rhythm section and a tall, long-haired guitarist who didn’t look punk until he played all those searing notes.

If you were in the Offenders, your band name became your last name, so everyone knew Donaldson as Mikey Offender. He was the baddest bassist in town. The only time I ever “slam-danced,” which is what moshing was called back then, it was to the Offenders. After one song, I was comepletely covered in sweat, some of it my own. Mikey was a big Motorhead fan, and it showed in his Lemmy-like thrashing.

After the breakup of his great San Francisco band Sister Double Happiness about 10 years ago, Mikey had dropped out of the music business and moved back to Killeen, according to reports. It was no secret that he had a horrendous heroin problem in S.F., so maybe he went home to pad his years a little.

He played the Offenders reunion at Emo’s in 2002 and apparently planned a return to music. In 2004, Mikey rejoined his pre-Offenders band MDC, which originally stood for Millions of Dead Cops, but then was changed to various other things that wouldn’t assure hassles from law enforcement. Donaldson played on the MDC comeback album “Magnus Dominos Corpus” and toured Europe with the hardcore pioneers. On an MDC blog, one of the band members called the 2004 version the band’s tightest ever.

When the tour ended in Aug. 2004, Donaldson stayed behind in Amsterdam, where he joined one of that city’s premiere punk bands, the Nitwitz. Mikey Offender was, no doubt, a star in Europe, and he talked about re-forming the Offenders for an overseas tour.

So many of the punk rockers who were my heroes in 1984 have passed away: Biscuit of the Big Boys, Glenn Taylor of the Dicks, Hayes of the Hickoids. And now Mikey.

“Mikey is universally regarded as one of the most innovative and inimitable masters of the bass guitar,” Doyle wrote in an e-mail. “He played his Rickenbacker like it was a out-sized rhythm guitar. Mikey pioneered an aggressive speed-picking style and liberal employment of bass chords that few have been able to emulate in the past 20 years. He will be sorely missed.”

An Austin memorial is in the works.

offenders_front.jpgoffenders_back.jpgAnd here’s the first OFFENDERS 7″ for you. The A-Side is the winner here, the B-Side with it’s out of key singing and horrible backup chorus vocals is really really really bad CLASH for idiots. Best OFFENDERs will always be the 2nd LP, “Endless Struggle”. One monster of an album.
Please note the cover’s weird coloration, it’s a misprint.

Lost Causes.mp3
Rockin the Town.mp3


  1. A masterful bass player joins Charlie Chaplin and the others. May he rest in piece.

    Face Down In The Dirt on the PEACE comp. was never topped when it comes to production. My fave after that is We Must Rebel. What a sound! The bass and the drums makes a total muddy sound that just blows me away.

    Lost Cause is for sure one the best songs they ever did.


    Posted on 29-Sep-07 at 14:35 | Permalink
  2. Eddie

    I got to see the Offenders play with the Dead Kennedys on Dec. 31st, 1983 for New Years Eve at a club called Starlite Ballroom in North Hollywood, CA. What an awesome gig that was! RIP Mikey Offender! If there’s a heaven, I sure hope there’s a room for the punk scene!


    Posted on 29-Sep-07 at 18:17 | Permalink
  3. OTTO

    Sad news… saw him once with the Offenders and two or three times with DRI… the guy absolutely smoked.


    Posted on 01-Oct-07 at 12:16 | Permalink


    Posted on 01-Oct-07 at 19:58 | Permalink
  5. SwePete

    Who fucking cares about my opinion…..BUT!!!! Face Down In The Dirt is ONE OF THE BEST SONGS WRITTEN,EVER!!! Then again my list is endless!


    Posted on 06-Oct-07 at 16:06 | Permalink
  6. philipp

    erich, you give tribute to a great base players dead. but didn’t see you when this guy played near to you. so whats wrong?


    Posted on 14-Oct-07 at 14:55 | Permalink
  7. Admin

    I don’t go to concerts (if that’s what you meant) cause I don’t wanna breath the same air with people like you, maybe.


    Posted on 14-Oct-07 at 15:11 | Permalink
  8. rib eye

    LOL erich. right on! what a dipshit philipp haha. fucking moron.

    the offenders to me were a live band. i like the vinyl output but it was nothing compared to the live force of the offenders!


    Posted on 15-Oct-07 at 00:45 | Permalink
  9. I just read this and can’t believe it, great guy and great bass player…..will be missed.


    Posted on 08-Jan-08 at 07:26 | Permalink

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] GoDigital wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt“He played his Rickenbacker like it was a out-sized rhythm guitar. Mikey pioneered an aggressive speed-picking style and liberal employment of bass chords that few have been able to emulate in the past 20 years. … […]

  2. […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  3. […] up my ally, tracks with a bass sound that makes me think of the Offenders. And you know by now that Mikey “Offender” Donaldson has been reported dead. On the back of the lyric sheet they describe exactly how much this record of 300 copies costed, […]

  4. […] Good Bad Music For Bad, Bad, Times also offers some thoughts. […]

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