Band wins award. Band comes onstage. Band scatters ashes of dead bandmate.

If you’re familiar with the New Zealand music scene, you’ll know the name Headless Chickens, a group that has a history dating back to the middle 80s.

Earlier this month, they were honoured with a prize at the Taite Music Awards for their 1987 album, Stunt Clown. When they got up on stage, the band’s Chris Matthews held up a small vial, saying “I think Grant probably always wanted to play on this stage.”

In the vial were ashes of the band’s late bass player, Grant Fell, who died of brain cancer in January. Matthews then sprinkled that bit of Grant on the stage.

The action has divided the New Zealand music community. Was this a fitting tribute? Disrespectful? Unsanitary? Offensive?

Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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