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Remembering Thomas Peake

The scene he fostered pays tribute to the former CL music writer

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When news spread that former Creative Loafing music writer Thomas Peake died after suffering a fall while hiking in the Grand Canyon back in September, a lot of memories – and a lot of bands – came out of the woodwork. Peake was an active fixture on Atlanta's music scene throughout the late 1980s and '90s. Through his homemade zine Soma, working as a DJ/station manager at WREK-FM (91.1), and writing about music for local rags including CL and Stomp and Stammer, Peake fostered a musical community that surfed the fringes of punk, jazz and experimental music.

"He didn't love all music but he loved good music," says Andrew Burnes, guitarist with the long-standing Atlanta drone-rock trio San Agustin. "He helped a lot of people understand music just by the way he talked about it, and what a good representation of human identity and human feelings music really is."

Burnes is one of the organizers for a memorial concert being held in Peake's name, and the lineup is a time capsule that captures the era in which Peake's presence flourished. Bands such as DQE, Gold Sparkle Band, FLAP and several others are slated to perform. Most have been largely inactive on the local front for many years. But reconvening in honor of the man who helped bring the scene together in the first place is more like a matter of civic duty.

Proceeds from the show are being donated to the East Atlanta Kids Club, and peakecast.org has been set up to digitally rebroadcast Peake's shows from his years at WREK. "There was a really strong community back then and it's something that doesn't really exist anymore," says Burnes. "Thomas was the conduit for a lot of what was going on, and even my band San Agustin was like the second or third generation of the scene that he created."

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