Veteran Atlanta musician Ed Tanner, Jr., 64, passed away on June 20th of complications from a liver and kidney transplant.
Tanner’s first band of note was the Ancestors with his brother, Blair. Then, after spending a year together in Darryl Rhoades’ Hahavishnu Orchestra in the mid-70s, guitarist/vocalist Tanner and saxophonist/vocalist Jonny Hibbert formed the oldies party band Cruis-O-Matic in 1977. With other members including vocalist Rex Patton and future Swimming Pool Q’s bassist Robert Schmid, Cruis-O-Matic became a staple of the late ’70s/early ’80s Atlanta music scene, with much of their early attention coming from their opening slot for the Sex Pistols’ US debut at the Great Southeast Music Hall in January 1978.
Numerous members would come and go (including Rhoades), with Tanner’s showmanship earning him the stage name “Mr. Vegas.” Cruis-O-Matic continued to play sporadically through 2013.