In Memoriam: Howie Pyro (1960 – 2022)

Howie Pyro (born Howard Kusten, June 28, 1960 – May 4, 2022) was an American bass player of Puerto Rican and Jewish American descent. He was a founding member of The Blessed, Freaks, D Generation, and PCP Highway. He was also the bass player in Danzig from 2000-2003.

He was a DJ at Green Door parties. He was the host of Intoxica Radio with Howie Pyro, an internet radio show where he played “50s and 60s rock and roll, psycho surf, garage, rockabilly, hillbilly horrors, voodoo r & b, insane instrumentals, religious nuts, and teenage hell music.” Pyro was also friends with Sid Vicious and was one of the last people to see the former Sex Pistols bassist alive; Pyro was there the night he died from a heroin overdose.

In December 2021, it was announced that Pyro was fighting for his life and in recovery following a liver transplant. His longtime friend and D Generation bandmate Jesse Malin announced a benefit concert for Pyro in January 2022, with all funds raised going to Pyro’s medical and living expense for the next year as he recovered. Various other benefit shows were held for Pyro as well.

He died on May 4, 2022, from COVID-19-related pneumonia after suffering from liver disease.

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