20 years after the tragic death of Denny Lile, comes “Hear The Bang”, a dusted off, near perfect document of 1970s American music. Recorded in 1973, a time in which near perfect music could be produced and manufactured only to completely disappear should commercial reaction prove too small by an artist’s Midwestern, independent label.
Denny Lile died at just 44 years old. His untimely death made even more sad given it occurred inside his van, the only physical evidence family and friends could offer up to prove his music mattered and could possibly be a way out for him. Denny purchased the van in the ’80s with proceeds from “Fallin’ Out”, a song he wrote but made famous by Waylon Jennings. Denny got the van and Waylon got the hit he needed to outlast the hair, make-up, tits and ass of the MTV generation.
Recorded one year after Neil Young’s “Harvest” and Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon”, Denny Lile’s eponymously titled and lone record has come back to life due to Jer Lile, Denny’s now 39 year old nephew. A custom guitar and amp maker, Jer Lile’s amps are used in Bruce Watson’s studio. Through friendship and fate, the music of Denny Lile was brought to Bruce’s attention and now, accompanied with Jer Lile’s documentary film on the life of Denny Lile, is ready for Commercial release via Watson’s Big Legal Mess record label. The multi-year process of discovering, recovering and documenting his uncle’s work has been both heartbreaking and enlightening for Jer Lile. “It’s a mixed blessing,” he says. “I’ve talked with all these people to get a better sense of who he was, and that way it kind of makes the sense of loss a little more intense, more defined… I can’t tell you how often I’ve cried during this process.”
Metaphor’s abound when an artist of this caliber achieves scant success in life, dies tragically young only to get a second shot at success posthumously. None will do. “Hear the Bang” could be your favorite record of 2015, isn’t that enough?