Rockabilly Musician Chadd Thomas Found Dead In South Austin (UPDATED)
The Austin Police Department released more information in Thomas' investigation Thursday afternoon.
Update (5:18 p.m.): The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE are both reporting that the Travis County Medical Examiner has ruled Thomas' death a homicide from blunt force trauma.
Rumors ran rampant across Facebook last night reporting the death of Austin rockabilly bandleader Chadd Thomas of Chadd Thomas and the Crazy Kings. Thomas originally formed the band in Houston, and was a frequent performer at the Continental Club here. He was born in Birmingham, Ala.
Jessica Vess of Austin's KVUE reported via Twitter this morning that the Austin Police Department has identified a body found Monday morning on South Congress Avenue near Oltorf as Thomas, whose real name was Charles Thomas II.
Austin police were alerted to a body slumped against a fence along South Congress around 7:45 a.m. Monday, KVUE reported. Monday night, Austin rockabilly band (and former Houstonians) the Hotrod Hillbillies posted the following message on their Facebook page:
We are very Shocked to have learn [sic] that a fellow Rockabilly Musician Chadd Thomas, was found dead this morning in South Austin. Cops are calling it a Homicide. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, daughter, and all the members of The Crazy Kings, especially our brother Dylan Cavalier. We hope answers of his death will come quickly.
Although homicide detectives are involved, Austin police said when they found Thomas' body that determining a cause of death was premature: "Right now, all we have is a deceased person," APD Sgt. Keith Bazzle told KVUE.
Seeking more information, Rocks Off contacted some Houston musicians who were familiar with Thomas. One, who asked not to be named, said Thomas, 38, was struck by a car following an altercation
after his band's show at The Crow Bar in Austin Saturday night, and refused his friends' efforts to take him to the hospital. Ed. Note: The Crazy Kings played The Aviary Decor, another South Austin bar, Saturday night, not The Crowbar.
Houston rockabilly promoter Edgar Salazar, known as "Big E," called Thomas a "great friend" and said he is planning a tribute at next weekend's two-day Rock Baby Rock It festival. He did not remember the last time the Crazy Kings played the Continental Club.
Besides the Hotrod Hillbillies, musicians including Scott H. Biram, Back Porch Mary, Houston's 13 Black Coffins and San Antonio venue Sam's Burger Joint posted tributes to Thomas on Twitter. "Miss Melane & 13 Black Coffins will always remember how awesome you were to us," the Coffins said.
Rocks Off will update with more details as they become available.
Chadd Thomas and the Crazy Kings, "Broken Man"
Music Editor Chris Gray contributed to this report.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.