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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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The Frogs onstage in Chicago in 2008.
The Frogs onstage in Chicago in 2008. (Photo: Jeffrey Loder)

The Frogs' Dennis Flemion dies

Sad news to report again as another local music scene veteran passes away.

The Racine Journal Times reported last night that Dennis Flemion, 57, who founded The Frogs with his brother Jimmy in 1980, drowned Saturday on Wind Lake.

Flemion was on a boat and went into the water to swim and did not come back up. Searchers began looking for his body on Saturday before nightfall. The search resumed Sunday and Monday but as of 4:30 p.m. yesterday, the Journal Times reported, Flemion's body was still not recovered.

The Frogs – in which the Flemion brothers surrounded themselves with a cast of some of the city's best musicians of the period – were one of Milwaukee's quirkiest and most influential (both here and beyond the city's borders) post-punk era bands, mixing humor, social issues and a lo-fi sound.

The brothers' style garnered them some big-name attention when Billy Corgan and Eddie Vedder became fans. The Frogs were invited to tour with Pearl Jam and Dennis Flemion spent seven months touring as a keyboardist for The Smashing Pumpkins.

Monday night, Corgan tweeted, "I'm devastated by the loss of my friend Dennis Flemion. Words can't explain the sorrow. A tragic loss. Please pray for his family."

A pair of new studio records – "Squirrel Bunny Jupiter Deluxe" and "Count Yer Blessingsz" – was released last week.

Dennis Flemion will be missed but he will be remembered among local musicians as a friend and as an innovator on the local scene.

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