While it’s actually been almost a decade since Knoxville’s punk community lost two of its founders, Anjanette “Angie” Comer and Dennis “Doc Shock” Shockley, it seems like it was only yesterday. As cornerstones of the scene, each of them was, in their own unique and utterly original way, a fun-loving, colorful, and irreplaceable presence. I never drive by the site of the automobile accident—the crossing of Cumberland Avenue and Henley Street—where they were killed by a drunk driver on Halloween night in 2000 without thinking of them. And I’m certainly not alone. Memorial funds have recently been established to honor both of their memories.
Comer was an alumnus of Bearden High School’s class of 1983, and an upcoming issue of the school’s literary magazine, Smears of Ink, will be dedicated to her memory. Passionate about poetry and philosophy (her favorites included Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus), Comer was a mover and shaker of Knoxville’s underground poetry/spoken-word scene in the 1980s.
Contributions can be made to the magazine by Paypal. Copies of Comer’s poetry and reminiscences are also sought. Evelyn and Jerry Winther at Happion Productions are handling the fund. For information and contributions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A German instructor at the University of Tennessee, Shockley will always be remembered as a passionate and engaged teacher. His memorial is through the UT German Department, his academic home. For information and contributions, contact Beth Cole at the German department (701 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996).