Veteran San Diego musician and visual artist Eric “Rick” Froberg, best known for his work as guitarist and lead vocalist for the band Drive Like Jehu, has died, according to his bandmate. He was 55 years old.
“Rick died suddenly last night (Friday) of natural causes,” guitarist John Reese shared Instagram. “His art made life better. The only thing I love more than art and rock and roll are his friends. He will be forever remembered for his creativity, his vision, and his ability to bring beauty into this world. I love you, Rick. I will miss you for the rest of my life.”
A longtime Encinitas resident, Froberg was born in Los Angeles and has played in several San Diego bands alongside Reis including Pitchfork and the Hot Snakes. Separately, Froberg has also played with the bands Last of the Juanitas, Thingy, and Obits.
The Los Angeles Times credited him with “bringing the complex, amplified sound of sports rock into the mainstream”.
As a visual artist and illustrator, Froberg has created album art, promotional artwork, and merchandise designs for all of his bands as well as for Reis Rocket’s Crypt and Swami Records label.
In 2022, Trash Lamb Gallery in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood featured an exhibition of posters Froberg created for the area’s underground music scene titled “Let My People Go: Art and Illustration 1988 to Present.”
Froberg was also known by the pseudonyms Rick Fork and Rick Farr and has performed on over 20 albums. His last completed album, “Jericho Sirens” with Hot Snakes, was released in 2018.
His group Obits broke up in 2015 but released the live album “Die At the Zoo” in 2021. It was recorded in 2012 in Brisbane, Australia while the band was on tour.
Two weeks ago on Instagram, Froberg posted several new photos of himself and told fans, “Hot Snakes, by the way, are working on a new record—very close—so pay attention.”
San Diego band Drive Like Jehu’s reunion show at Spreckels Organ Pavilion may be the biggest show ever at the location – FM 94/9’s Tim Pyles spoke to John Reis, Rick Froberg and San Diego Civic Organist Carroll Williams. (Thanks to @x0xMaximus for additional screenshots: http://spreckelsorgan.org)
“Travel geek. Incurable music expert. Food maven. Troublemaker. Lifelong student. Avid tv junkie.”