Rick Smith, RIP

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Rick "Rix Myth" Smith, 1968-2007

Rick Smith, the popular Houston artist, writer, DJ, musician and filmmaker sometimes known as Rix Myth, passed away November 8 at his Montrose apartment. He was 39 years old. The cause of death is unclear, although DJs on KPFT-FM, where Smith had co-hosted the overnight Messerschmidt World Domination Happy Hour program since 2002, said during the station’s pledge drive this weekend they believed it was internal bleeding.

“He told two people different things,” longtime friend and former Bayou Pigs bassist Mark Fagan, who attended Westfield High School with Smith, said Monday morning. “He said he was flipping over his mattress and hurt himself, and told someone else he fell down.”

Richard B. Smith was born May 8, 1968 in New Orleans. He graduated from Westfield in 1986, attended Sam Houston State University and received an Associate’s Degree in Layout/Production Art from the Art Institute of Houston in 1992. He made his living as a painter and illustrator, and designed and manufactured his own line of T-Shirts, Bojinka T’s, which bore catchy, subversive slogans like “Evildoer,” “Quiet Loner” and “Abort More Babies.”

“He’s going to be sorely missed,” said Sound Exchange owner Kevin Bakos. “He was around forever. I can’t think of a time when there wasn’t a Rick Smith. He sort of harkens back to when this was a very different neighborhood. One of the old guard passing on is always sad.”

Smith also played in the local bands Daddy’s Belt and Bald Eagle Burger, was a former music-news columnist for the old Public News, and contributed to Free Press Houston and Houston’s Other. Some of his plays were produced by local theater company Dos Chicas.

“Bayou Pigs used to play some of our earliest gigs in his living room,” Fagan said. “For the Axiom reunion show he loaned us his practice space and a bunch of his gear. He burned us all like five DVDs, Hawkwind, Metalocalypse, stuff like that. That’s just the kind of guy he was.”

“He was kind of a night owl,” added Bakos. “He wasn’t usually even out of bed by the time we were closed.”

Smith is survived by his mother and stepfather; father and stepmother; sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew; grandmother; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. His funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Tomball (1111 S. Cherry St.), and a wake Wednesday night at Catbird’s (1336 Westheimer, 8 p.m.) is also planned.

“It’s like everybody always says about someone being the nicest guy in the world, but this guy really was,” Fagan said. “The only thing I really remember him getting upset about was George Bush and the war in Iraq, but he never had a bad word to say about anybody. He was just really talented, generous and a great friend for 25 years.” – Chris Gray

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