Songwriter, Musical Artist
1963 – 2006
Who was Gene Severens?
Gene Severens was an American songwriter, musician and visual artist. He was the driving force behind a number of punk rock bands, first in Worcester, Massachusetts, but mostly in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to lead vocals, Severens would perform on both bass and guitar, usually bass. As a visual artist, he worked in acrylic paint, ink, charcoal and mixed media. The aesthetic throughout was consistent: punk.
Influenced by early punk rock bands the Clash and the Dead Boys, Severens began writing song with Richard "Foghorn" Harnois with whom he founded the Aggressions c. 1984. The Aggressions, along with the Commandos and the Performers, constituted the core of Worcester's early hardcore punk scene, playing frequently at Ralph's Diner. The Aggressions enjoyed local radio success with their song "Howard Johnson's" about an ill-fated attempt to drive through a snow storm to a punk rock concert.
In Providence, Severens founded his most influential band, Boneyard, who opened for Goo Goo Dolls and Social Distortion. Members included Gail Greenwood who would later join Belly and L7. His other main Providence-based project was My Way.
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