Billboard reports that Don Joyce, a longtime member of the “culture jamming” experimental music pranksters Negativland, died yesterday in Oakland after suffering from heart failure. He was 71.
Joyce, born in New Hampshire, had been living in Oakland for many years and working as a DJ on KPFA in Berkeley when he met the rest of Negativland. The group came in to take over his radio show, and he was so impressed that he joined the voice. In a Facebook statement, the rest of the group writes that Joyce had the idea to manipulate recorded vocals, effectively making Joyce their “lead vocalist”: “Don Joyce’s singular editing style was laced with profundity and silliness in equal measure. His work was that of a dada humanist, able to wring unforgettable sentiments and statements out of material which originally spoke something entirely different.” Joyce quit touring with the group five years ago.
Joyce is the second member of Negativland to pass away this year; his bandmate Ian Allen died in January.