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Thursday, April 4, 2013 06:23 am

Requiem for a Punk Rocker


L-R: Dave Baker, Jeff Williams and Brian Tober, ca. 1980s (photo courtesy Bill Tober)

Known to many as a devoted family man and passionate educator, Dave Baker was also renowned for his antic personality and love for all things punk. When he passed away suddenly last week from natural causes, the Springfield-area music scene lost one of its greatest provocateurs and enthusiasts, a veritable Pied Piper of Punk Rock as one of his friends dubbed him on his Facebook memorial page.

During the1980s, Dave founded punk band Crawford & the Village Idiots, and infamously convinced the Springfield Redbirds to allow his later band, Functional (featuring NIL8's Bruce Williams), to play a show at halftime without an audition or demo tape. The power was shut off during their third song.

In 2011, Tom Irwin and I interviewed Dave Baker about the history of the Springfield punk scene for a radio show we were producing for WUIS's Exponential stream. The show never materialized but the interview with Dave survives and is streaming below (it is unedited and doesn't really get underway until about the 5 minute mark).

Thanks to Randy Eccles of WUIS for allowing access to this recording.

Send feedback and story ideas for Faingold at Large to sfaingold@illinoistimes.com

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