A punk so passionate about keeping the local music scene alive that he ploughed his own money into promoting young bands has died suddenly aged just 32.
Dave Wild, known to his friends as Davee or Chaospunk, was a familiar face on the gigging circuit in Canterbury and well-known for his selfless promotion of both new and established punk bands.
He collapsed and died in London last week, with his family still awaiting test results to find out what caused his death.
His parents Gary and Diane and sister Emma Steers, from Sittingbourne, have spoken about Dave’s love of music, animals, skate hockey and cooking and the amazing support they have received from friends and music fans all over the world.
Dave’s interest in the punk movement began when he started going to gigs at the Cardinal’s Cap in Rosemary Lane, Canterbury, as a teenager.
His family described how he started styling his hair into a mohawk – his sister could not believe how long he spent perfecting the look in the bathroom mirror – and wearing tartan trousers, big boots and patchwork jackets.
Despite having only worn a suit twice as an adult, both times at weddings, Gary said it was not all about fashion and music and Dave also embraced punk ideologies.
Emma, 35, an administrator, said: “We just feel so overwhelmed by how much Dave meant to everyone. Even now we are still getting messages, texts and emails.
“He was a great son, brother and friend to all. That can be shown by the messages we’ve seen on Facebook. He touched everyone’s lives.”
Dave, who was in the process of moving to London after living in the Wincheap area of Canterbury for four years, organised events throughout Kent but he was best known for the punk gigs he put on at The Maidens Head in Wincheap, which attracted music lovers from all over the country and some of the scene’s biggest names, such as Anthrax, The Warriors and The Restarts.
"He was a great son, brother and friend to all. That can be shown by the messages we’ve seen on Facebook. He touched everyone’s lives" - sister Emma Steers
He helped up-and-coming bands reach new audiences, often letting them sleep at his house so they did not have to pay for accommodation while touring. American bands who played at Dave’s UK gigs invited him to the States and he fell in love with California, visiting regularly.
Despite his love of music and the fact he owned six guitars, Dave was never in a band.
Away from the music world, a teenage Dave played skate hockey, first for the Sittingbourne Swipes and later for Predators, a team his parents set up to entertain bored youngsters.
Dave loved gadgets and technology and had recently developed a passion for gourmet cooking, admitting to his dad just days before he died that his favourite television programme was MasterChef.
Dave’s second love was animals and he adored the family’s Jack Russell whippet cross Sandy, who they had for almost 20 years after adopting as a puppy from Viking Oak kennels in Sevenoaks.
The vegan, who hated animal cruelty, had a tattoo of Sandy’s paw print on his arm. His family plans to have the dog’s ashes buried with Dave, whose friends are organising a tribute gig in his honour.
Details have not been confirmed but bands will play for free and money raised will be donated to the Dogs Trust.
Dave's funeral will be held at Garden of England Crematorium, Bobbing, Sittingbourne, at 10am on Tuesday, August 12 and afterwards at UK Paper Pavilion, Gore Court Road, Sittingbourne. The dress code is no suits. Donations can be made in Dave’s memory to Dogs Trust here.
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