"He was a very up person with a lot of energy and always smiling," recalls Agony in the Garden vocalist Virginia Mendez of Rick Lennick, a local music entrepreneur who died April 21 after a bout with meningitis. He was 36.
During the late Seventies, when punk rock was just starting to trickle down to South Florida, Lennick was working as the club DJ at the Agora Ballroom in Hallandale, spinning punk records between sets by bands such as the Psychedelic Furs and U2 (who played there on their first American tour in 1980). He later performed the same task at the early South Beach punk mecca Flynn's and helped the club bring in national and international acts such as Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, and the Exploited. He also wrote for various fanzines in the area and in the early Eighties released Florida Explosion, a cassette compilation of Miami punk and underground groups.
"He really helped to open our eyes to all this new music," Mendez explains. "He'd play everything from Siouxie and the Banshees to Bauhaus and the Dead Kennedys. He helped the punk scene really get developed here."
A tribute to Lennick was held April 26 at Churchill's Hideaway in Little Haiti, where he occasionally worked as a DJ and sound man. Featured groups included the Abusers, Nuclear Beef, and members of Agony in the Garden.