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R.I.P. Bootsey X

Bootsey X & the Lovemasters leader dead.


  • Bootsey X & the Lovemasters, circa 1995.

We’re sad to report that Bootsey X, whose real name was Robert Mulrooney, died after a long struggle with brain cancer. Best known as the leader of his own band, Bootsey X & the Lovemasters, he also played with the Ramrods, Dark Carnival, Coldcock, the Sillies and Rocket 455, among other bands.

Details could not be confirmed before press time, but reports indicate that Bootsey died Thanksgiving evening, Nov. 28.

Bootsey X was a true rock star, the “Pusherman of Love” and a “Genius from the Waist Down.” He may not have received the attention that he deserved outside of Detroit, but in the Motor City he was — and will always be — adored. The rocker will be remembered as a tremendous frontman and an absolute gentleman.

“Bob and I talked often in later years about how rock ’n’ roll can frequently end up being a loser’s game,” says former MT music editor Bill Holdship. “The tragic thing is that, in a more just world, and with better guidance and choices, he could have been a star. But in the end, and in the wake of his death, it’s obvious that no one who leaves behind that much love, respect and grief could ever be considered a loser. Not even close.

“Almost everyone whose life he touched loved Bob. Even though we weren’t in touch much this last year except via email and Facebook, I will miss him dearly,” Holdship says. “Just the fact that there’s no longer a Bootsey in the world is an overwhelming thought.

“He was one of the best friends I’ve ever had, always thinking of ways he could help me, even when he was going through his own horrible pain,” the former MT music editor says. “Not just the Detroit music scene, but Detroit itself, is a much darker place without him.”


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