Former Molly Hatchet bassist Banner Thomas has passed away from a heart attack. The news was shared by the band on their Facebook page.
“Molly Hatchet bassist, Banner Thomas passed away this morning,” they wrote. “From 1978 – 1983, Banner played on the first four MH albums, including the hit Flirtin’ With Disaster. He left the band and was replaced by Riff West, also deceased, who played on the next 5 albums. Tim Lindsey has been the bassist for nearly fifteen years and continues to carry the torch forward. Our prayers and condolences extent to Banner’s family and friends. RIP”
Thomas started on guitar and was in several bands through high school. He was a music major at college before dropping out after a year to join Molly Hatchet in 1973. He told the story in an interview with Phillippe Archambeau in 2002. “[Donald Hall and I] were in a music store and Don was trying out a guitar when this guy walks up and says, ‘You play pretty well. My name’s Dave Hlubek. Want to join my band?’ Don pointed at me and said, ‘My friend here plays bass. Can he come, too?'”
The bassist co-wrote many of the band’s hits through 1981 when he left the band. He also played with Big Engine on and off through the past several years.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Banner Thomas.