R.I.P. Rev. Jim Forrester, 1974-2017

rev jim forrester photo shane gardner

UPDATE 1:00PM: According to the Baltimore Sun, Jim Forrester was shot outside Baltimore Tattoo Museum, where he worked. Tina Giles Forrester also elaborated on the situation:

I know that there are many questions. I will not keep this private. I want everyone to know that Jim was murdered. He was shot to death by a gutless coward. This may seem harsh to put out there, but this piece of fucking shit is still out there. I will continue to tell each and every person until this waste of a fucking life is caught and has to look me in my eyes. I want justice. I will not stop until I have justice.

6:00AM Details are few and far between at the time of this writing, and it seems likely that one way or another some sort of memorial fund or benefit will be set up in his honor, so this post may be updated in the near future, but word has been made public about the passing of Rev. Jim Forrester, current bassist for Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy and a co-founder of Maryland-based heavy rockers Sixty Watt Shaman.

Born Dec. 5, 1974, Forrester, with his body covered in tattoos all the way up to the top of his shaved head — bandanna-clad, of course — his piercings and his wide smile, cut a figure that was both larger than life and deeply human. His wife, Tina Giles Forrester, made the announcement on social media:

Tina Giles Forrester:

I cannot convey the amount of sadness in my heart as I type this post. Tonight.. my husband was tragically ripped from my life, from all of our lives. I cannot express the amount of love he had for the music, his fellow artists, and fans. I am left with tragic sadness and a searing rage. I will use my last breath to make sure the animal who did this will be caught and held accountable for this senseless atrocity. I love you Jim Forrester my sweet dark prince.

While the exact circumstances of his death remain unknown — and from the statement above, it would seem some outside party was involved one way or another — the veteran heavy rocker had suffered numerous health problems over the course of this past year stemming from a blood clot in his liver, which he detailed here in an interview just over a week ago:

Jim Forrester on health issues:

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Sunday to be exact, I awoke from a dead sleep to the most abhorrent abdominal pain I’ve ever experienced… I had a blood clot in my portal vein (liver) that was cutting off blood flow to my liver, pancreas, intestines, and various extremities… Blood thinners saved my ass, but also caused esophageal varices to burst, resulting in me puking up half my blood supply, intubation, and a three-day medically induced coma in which I almost checked out a few times as well… Three days later I awoke to what I thought was a heart attack. Returned to the hospital to find a pulmonary embolism, and a grouping of blood clots behind my right knee. Another week in the hospital, and back home with increased blood thinners (self-administered stomach injections, very metal)…

I had liver issues back in 2012 that I had worked through, I thought pretty successfully… It’s no secret I previously was a drink and drug enthusiast (no hard drugs for years now I will note) as cliche as it is, and I managed to do some significant damage to myself over the years. At various points I’ve been a bit of a mess, and have a lot of regrets regarding that aspect of my time. That aside, I lived a pretty hard life for an extended spell, pushed myself physically in ways that have consequences, and some of that is a factor as well… (read more here)

Forrester was also waiting to undergo hip surgery in the New Year after dealing with long-term damage due in part to a past ACL tear, though again, whether or not any of this was a factor in his passing is unconfirmed.

After cutting his teeth in the mid ’90s and early ’00s in Sixty Watt Shaman, Forrester moved to from Maryland and took part in a band called Angels of Meth before eventually relocating to West Virginia and rejoining his Sixty Watt Shaman bandmate Chuck Dukehart in Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy. In 2014, Sixty Watt Shaman got back together to play Desertfest Berlin and a few other limited engagements to celebrate their three albums — Ultra Electric (1998), Seed of Decades (2000) and Reason to Live (2002) — but the reunion would be short-lived as old personal issues resurfaced and the band once again split.

In 2016, he added low-end charge to Foghound’s second album, The World Unseen, fueling a more aggressive take from that band as they made their debut on Ripple Music. The debut single from Serpents of Secrecy was released earlier in 2017 through an alliance with Salt of the Earth Records, and both groups had or have new material in progress for issue in 2018. His last performance was an acoustic set with Foghound on Dec. 17 at the Baltimore Tattoo Museum’s annual holiday party.

On behalf of this site and on behalf of myself, I send condolences and strength to Rev. Jim’s many friends, fans and of course his family. As a personal note, even aside from this recent interview, he and I have been in touch for years and I know he was excited to get his health problems behind him, get back on stage full-boar and get back in the studio to make new music with bandmates he truly loved. He was someone second to nobody in passion for what he did, and his death is a significant loss. As much as I’ve enjoyed his work over the years, I will remember more the sincerity of his character and the wholesome spirit beneath his gruff exterior, and like all who were lucky enough to know him during his time, I will miss Jim.

Rest in Peace Jim Forrester, 1974-2017.

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14 Responses to “R.I.P. Rev. Jim Forrester, 1974-2017”

  1. Brian says:

    Angels of Meth was Cincinnati band not WV

    • someone says:

      same thing

      • Christine Cilley says:

        No it’s not!

        • Better Reader than most apparently. says:

          If you guys would actually read the post you see the following:
          “After cutting his teeth in the mid ’90s and early ’00s in Sixty Watt Shaman Forrester moved to from Maryland and took part in a band called Angels of Meth before eventually relocating to West Virginia and rejoining his Sixty Watt Shaman bandmate Chuck Dukehart in Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy”
          Did you notice the ending part here? He left AOM and relocated to WV to rejoining a former bandmate and another band. I mean hell, it didn’t say where he moved to. But I guess you didn’t see that either.

          So did you all read and/or understand here? oh and btw, who cares if it’s OH or WV? They both are still the armpits of America.

          RIP Dude. Sorry some none literate people are fighting over logistical locations.

  2. Dan Marsheck says:

    Haven’t seen Him in many years but, I am very sorry for your loss Tina. I will be praying for you,his,family,and close friends.I know it will be a painful holiday but let me know if you need anything.

  3. […] to The Obelisk, an underground music site, Forrester played bass for stoner rock groups Foghound and Serpents of […]

  4. Doctor Hill says:

    Jim was a legend and total sweetheart. This is a fucking shame and my heart hurts. Long live the real “Bass Stanglers.”

  5. Christine Wagner says:

    Our hearts break, our thoughts are with you. So sorry for this great loss. So senseless! So tragic! :(

  6. Gideon says:

    Deeply sad to hear this news today. Jim was a great musician, an awesome person and most of all a stand up, genuine friend in my life since I met him in the nineties. He lived for music and to play as much music as possible, and to support and encourage other artists in all music scenes. But above all he loved his wife, family and friends with iron dedication and his huge heart. I will truly miss Jim. I have crossed paths with many individuals in music over the years, in the journey I’m really thankful he was my friend. A man with the heart of a lion and soul of the kind of brave man the world doesn’t often see in times like these. My heart goes out to his friends and family. See you again brother, G

  7. Wombat says:

    I met Jim in 1996. One of the coolest cats ever. I recorded a bunch of their shows, as Sixty Watt Shaman.
    It was Jim who always made sure to connect.
    It is sad thatvhecwent this way, especially so, after reading of All his health issues theclastvyear. Guy was a hard partyer, to be sure.
    Feel real sad for his Mom, Tina and the kids. The Maryland music scene has lost a lifer.
    I know I had not seen him on almost 20 years.
    May you Rise In Power Rev. Jim.

  8. Pigford says:

    I had a chance to meet & talk to Jim at MD Doomfrst 2016…I was familiar with his work in Sixty Watt Shaman (Seed was a good record) & had recently been turned onto Foghound…him & his wife were outback of Cafe611 having a cig as I was so I struck up a conversation with them & she asked me to sign her bible…we didn’t talk for very long but long enough for me to get the impression that he was a cool dude & definitely the real deal & a lifer (at 46 I consider myself a lifer too)….this is a total shock & such a senseless loss to a lot of people not just a music scene…I hope they catch the piece of human rubbish who did this & make him pay for it for the rest of his miserable life ….because I’m 100% sure Jim did nothing to deserve what he got…hang em high …we will miss you Rev

  9. […] R.I.P. Rev. Jim Forrester, 1974-2017 (The Obelisk, 12/19/2017) […]

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