Sidney McCray, a.k.a. “SidMac”, the original lead singer and co-founder of the legendary punk rock band BAD BRAINS, passed away on September 9. No cause of death has been revealed.
BAD BRAINS was formed in 1976 as a jazz fusion ensemble called MIND POWER in the mold of bands such as Chick Corea’s RETURN TO FOREVER and John McLaughlin’s MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA as well as R&B musician Stevie Wonder. In 1977, McCray introduced his bandmates, who were already interested in acts such as BLACK SABBATH, to punk rock, including the DICKIES, THE DEAD BOYS, and the SEX PISTOLS. MIND POWER became obsessed with punk and changed its name to BAD BRAINS after the RAMONES song “Bad Brain”. Despite its developing punk sound, the early BAD BRAINS, after seeing Bob Marley in concert, also delved deep into reggae music and the Rastafari movement. McCray became BAD BRAINS’ first singer but left in the early days of the group’s hardcore era, and then-guitarist H.R. (a.k.a. Paul D. Hudson) became the band’s new singer.
Sid stayed in close contact with BAD BRAINS over the past four decades and occasionally performed with the group, such as in June 2017 when the BAD BRAINS played a surprise set at the opening of an art gallery curated by the band’s bassist, Darryl Jenifer (see video below).
McCray is remembered and loved by seven children, family, friends, his former band members and a host of loyal fans.
Sidney’s children would like to have a memorial service for their father and are gratefully in acceptance of donations. Contributions will solely go towards the last honors for SidMac.