Another sad loss for metal today as Henrik Ostergaard, raspy-voiced lead singer for the band Dirty Looks and current FnA Recording Artist, passed away at 9:18 a.m this morning. He was 47. The cause of death at this time is unknown and the results of an autopsy are pending. However, Erie County Coroner Lyle Cook said Ostergaard died of natural causes while under hospice care.
“I’m deeply saddened by the news of Henrik’s passing,” said Jack Pyers, who played bass on numerous Dirty Looks’ albums. “I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to work with and share some significant achievements with Henrik.
“He is and will certainly always be in my thoughts and close to my heart. So, my deepest respect to Henrik as a friend, father, husband and one of the best fucking rock ‘n roll singers that ever was.”
Dirty Looks emerged in 1984 like a high-energy, long-haired American equivalent of AC/DC, playing ferocious, hook-heavy songs. “Oh, Ruby,” from their second independent album, earned widespread airplay on rock stations and led to the band signing with Atlantic Records.
Dirty Looks had solid success with the albums Cool From the Wire (1988) and Five Easy Pieces (1992) which were the band’s most popular. They released 11 albums total on Atlantic, Sony/Columbia and other labels between 1985-96.
After the band’s final gig in Erie in 1996, Ostergaard ran a local moving business, 2 Guys & A Truck.
In early 2007, after he nearly died from alcohol poisoning, Ostergaard plunged back into music. He revived Dirty Looks and unleashed a series of albums on FnA Records, including Gasoline, Superdeluxe — which reunited him with Pyers — and California Free Ride.
The band played its last Erie show in October 2008 at the Warner Theatre. In mid-2010, Dirty Looks released “I.C.U.” on their latest label, FnA. The band held a CD listening party for the release on Jan. 21 at Sherlock’s, however Ostergaard did not attend.
The rock world will sadly mourn the loss of this 80’s hard rocker. Ostergaard, who was of Danish descent, lived in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Any current or former band members or fans who would like to have their condolences, thoughts or reflections on Henrik posted, please send to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
From Icarus Witch:
We are saddened to learn of the passing of iconic vocalist/guitarist Henrik Ostergaard today. Prior to joining Icarus Witch, lead singer Christopher Shaner performed and recorded as a guitarist and backing vocalist alongside Henrik in Dirty Looks, a hard rock band that Ostergaard formed and had fronted since 1985.
Shaner offered this:
“My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the family of Henrik Ostergaard, who passed away this morning. You’re a legend bro! It was an absolute thrill to be a part of the Dirty Looks legacy with him! Rest In Peace Henrik.”
“I got turned on to Dirty Looks immediately after the release of Cool From The Wire and soon I became virtually obsessed with that album. Very quickly Dirty Looks became one of my favorite bands of the entire 80s hard rock era. I preferred them to critical darlings and multi-platinum artists like Guns N Roses and Poison and Crue. No one wrote cooler, more rockin’ tunes than Henrik and the boys. And Henrik’s gruff yet melodic vocals, Paul Lidel’s incredible guitar work and the tight rhythm section of Gene Barnett and Jack Pyers (not to mention Jack’s awesome stage presence) put them heads and tails above almost everyone else for me. Luckily, being an east coast guy, I was fortunate to see Dirty Looks live many times. And being a local rock writer, I got to meet Henrik and the boys on numerous occasions, eventually forging a friendship with Henrik that lasted through the mid-90s until we eventually lost touch. I know Henrik had a reputation among some musicians he played with as being a tough nut to crack (perhaps that’s putting it mildly) but I always found him warm, friendly, accommodating and funny. I was thrilled to see his resurgence in recent years. it was great to see him writing and recording under the Dirty Looks moniker again. Hearing of his death today saddens me deeply. I admired him and Dirty Looks greatly and he was an influence on my songwriting and continues to be today. There were rumors that Dirty Looks was going to make an appearance at this May’s M3 festival but alas, it was not to be. I know Dirty Looks may not have been the most popular band from the 80s and early 90s rock scene those that were fans were always keenly aware that they knew a secret that the rest of the world didn’t know. They knew what an awesome band Dirty Looks was and what a talented individual Henrik was. He will be sorely missed by me and the thousands of fans who continue to spin “Cool From The Wire,” “Turn of the Screw,” “Bootlegs,” “Five Easy Pieces” and their may other albums. R.I.P. Henrik – enjoy a Blue Tequila in heaven!
– David Shaw (Street Light Circus)”
“I am shocked to the core hearing one of my favorite frontman of all time has left us. I missed the reunion at The Warner and now he’s gone. May God bless his friends and family. The world just dimmed.
– Eric D”
“This band was one of my favorites growing up, im at a total loss on what to say….i was so hoping to see them on the road one day soon…..Thank you for your music Henrik, and the great times i had listening to it….RIP Henrik, a long time fan
– Matt B, Aylett, VA”
“I have been a fan of Dirty Looks since the first time I saw ‘Nobody Rides for Free’ on MTV. And I had just started looking for their CD’s to own. I was very stoked to see that they had reformed and were working on a new album. I had been looking forward to hearing their latest album and am very sad to hear of Henrik’s passing. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his children and the band members. God Bless.
– Joe S”
[Source: Dirty Looks Music and GoErie.com]