Fly On, Fly Stone

Philip Langley “Fly” Stone, 70, died the evening of Friday, July 12. An Atlantan for most of his life, more recently he and his wife Amy resided in New Bern, North Carolina, where other than withstanding a couple of hurricanes they enjoyed a rather serene life, certainly compared to Stone’s tenure decades earlier in Atlanta band the Nasty Bucks.

With his explosion of tight, dark curly hair, untamed growl and occasional knack for shedding clothes in the midst of his maniacal performances, Fly Stone was the Nasty Bucks’ notoriously feral frontman. Dan Baird, later of the (Georgia) Satellites and numerous other bands, was their guitarist. Their drummer was David Michaelson, who went on to play in the earliest version of the Satellites (Keith and the…) and is still an active fixture on the local live music scene with the Rainmen. The Nasty Bucks’ first show in the mid ’70s was at an American Legion hall. As the decade raged on, they’d play the “Atlanta Punk Fest” in early 1977 along with a nutty new group from Athens called the B-52’s, and open for AC/DC at the Capri, among countless gigs at clubs and dives throughout the metro area.

In the 1980s Stone reemerged with former Hampton Grease Band guitarist Harold Kelling in Creatures del Mar (pictured here backstage at Masquerade in 1990 – from left: Kelling, drummer Jay Norem, Stone, bassist Pat Creel), who played a bewildering synthesis of harsh psych-rock, freeform jazz and stompin’  Beefheartian freakout. Stone would also perform with Kelling’s group Masters of the Edge.

With two heart transplants already under his belt, Stone’s health had been in serious decline of late. We extend our condolences to Amy and the rest of his family, friends and former bandmates.