Punk/Hardcore Producer Jerry Lee Williams, a/k/a Jay Dublee, Dies at 61

Holly George Warren
Pioneering punk and hardcore producer, guitarist and songwriter Jerry Lee Williams, 61, died September 18 in Yucca Valley, California. Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 23, 1948, Williams co-founded North Carolina's preeminent punk band, th' cigaretz in 1977 with guitarist Byron McCay and drummer Scott Jarvis. Th' cigaretz relocated from Raleigh to New York in May 1979, and shortly thereafter released their sole album, Crawl Rite Outta My Skin, on their own Cancer Records. Though the group had disbanded by early 1981, Williams and Jarvis helped to establish the New York City hardcore scene by converting an abandoned building at 171 Avenue A into a rehearsal/recording studio and late-night performance space. Soon after, Williams developed a rapport with Washington, DC's Bad Brains, who were in New York to perform at CBGB. A creative partnership followed, with Williams recording and producing the band's eponymous first album for ROIR, released in 1982. Using the name Jay Dublee, Williams also toured with the band as its sound engineer. Williams ran sound at CBGB during the thick of the NYC hardcore movement, as well as engineering at Hi-5 Studio in Manhattan for several years. He worked with other bands including the Beastie Boys (with whom he also toured), 3 Teens Kill 4, the Young and the Useless, Reagan Youth, and Velvet Monkeys, while continuing to perform as a guitarist with such East Village experimentalists as Bloodclot, the Hi Sheriffs of Blue, Purple Geezus, and Workdogs. He was a founding member and organist for the loose-knit performance-support group, Church of the Little Green Man.

Williams moved to San Francisco in 1999, and since 2001 lived in Yucca Valley, where his health began to fail due to a liver ailment. He is survived by his mother Gretchen Lee Williams of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and brothers, John Williams of Savoy, Illinois, and Tim Williams of Albany, New York.

Our thoughts are with his family.

Photo by Caki Kallas

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