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Frank Navetta (March 6, 1962 – October 31, 2008) was a guitarist for the Southern California punk rock band Descendents. He was part of the band's original lineup and played with the band for six years. He formed the Descendents with Tony Lombardo and Bill Stevenson in 1979 and released the single "Ride the Wild"/"It's a Hectic World". The Descendents were then joined by vocalist Milo Aukerman, and recorded the Fat EP in 1981 and the band's debut album Milo Goes to College in 1982. The band took a hiatus when Aukerman went to college before they began recording their second album I Don't Want to Grow Up in 1985. He moved to Eugene, Oregon to become a full-time fisherman and was replaced by Ray Cooper.
Frank joined Tony Lombardo and Bill Stevenson in the spring of 2002 for a reunion of sorts at ALL's quasi-annual festival Stockage in Fort Collins, Colorado. The group played songs as the original three-piece line-up that briefly existed before Aukerman joined the group. His early guitar style was heavily rooted in surf music, somewhat similar to that of East Bay Ray, but as time went on, came to resemble the heavier sound of Greg Ginn's more, but with more full and open chords and less, if any, soloing. His songwriting had a darker and more negative side to it, both lyrically and musically, than his bandmates, focusing more on his parents, his father especially, ("My Dad Sucks", "Parents"), and America ("Statue of Liberty"). He did, however, share Stevenson's themes of fishing ("Mr. Bass"and "Catalina") and unfulfilled romantic desires ("Ride the Wild" and "Marriage").
Frank died on October 31, 2008 after a short bout of illness. A message posted on the Descendents' official web site reads:
We're very sorry to announce that founding member of The DESCENDENTS, and close friend Frank Navetta died on October 31, 2008 after becoming ill over the course of a few days. This is obviously a huge loss for the DESCENDENTS family. His contribution to the band, and to music in general can not be overstated. Frank will be truly missed.
- Thissen, Brock (2008-11-03). "R.I.P. Descendents Guitarist/Co-Founder Frank Navetta". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- DESCENDENTSonline.com News. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
- Obituaries: Frank Navetta. The Register-Guard (Eugene, Ore.), November 15, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
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