LA Punk Kim Shattuck Dies At Age 56

She looked like she could be toppled by a summer breeze, but her shriek froze you in your tracks. Kim Shattuck, lead singer of the LA punk/pop quartet the Muffs, whose early singles and 1993 debut were mile markers in the city’s power pop scene, has died at age 56 after battling ALS. Shattuck wrote songs of vulnerability – stripped of their velocity, she might have been another LA folksinger. But it was impossible to separate the two – her penchant for bubblegum pop and her sneer, her guitar, and her voice, my God, her voice. Fuhgetabout Courtney Love (Hole’s Live Through This came out a year later). Shattuck’s vocal ferocity riveted your attention, partly because it seemed to spring out of nowhere. “Lucky Guy” became a huge college radio staple. In addition to the Muffs, Shattuck and longtime collaborator Melanie Vammen had an earlier band called the Pandoras, and another project, The Coolies. She also briefly toured as Kim Deal’s replacement in the Pixies. The Muffs made six albums, had a genuine hit covering Kim Wilde’s “Kids In America”, and are about to release No Holiday on October 18th. Without the Muffs, there would be no Green Day, Veruca Salt, Fucked Up, Waxhatchee – they’re all singing Shattuck’s praises on Twitter.

– Jeff McCord, KUTX Music Editor

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