Clarence “Blowfly” Reid, the 76-year-old self-described King Of The Freaks who has released raunchy, x-rated funk and r&b parodies for the past several decades, has apparently been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure. The news was posted by Reid’s drummer, Tom Bowker, today on the performer’s Facebook page, the same day Reid has entered hospice care.
In a David Bowie-like move, Bowker writes that Reid will release his final album, 77 Rusty Trombones, in February. “It is easily his best album since the early ’80s, and a fitting epitaph for one of the great performers of all time,” Bowker writes.
Between 1963 and 1976, Reid released three albums under his own name. But as Blowfly, Reid really showed off his foul-mouthed talents, releasing 26 adult-themed albums and collections from 1971 to 2012, including Porno Freak (1978), Analthology: The Best of Blowfly (1996), and Fahrenheit 69 (2005). In 1999, he gave the world Blowfly Does XXX-Mas, a compilation of dirty holiday songs, and in 2006, did a bunch of covers of classic punk songs for Blowfly’s Punk Rock Party, changing the lyrics to feature obscene language and offensive content. In 2001, he even covered New Order’s “Blue Monday”.
“It has been an honor to reintroduce Blowfly (and Clarence) to the world via recordings, movies and the stage over the last dozen years,” adds Bowker. “The last three have been particularly enjoyable, as we had a wonderful band featuring Billy Morales on guitar and Shaun Dickerson on bass who in addition to being fantastic musicians, completely understood what we were doing, and why we were doing it. Thank you for supporting our efforts.”
Fans are encouraged to send cards, letters, photos, or art to the Florida Medical Center, attn: Patient Clarence Reid, Room 355, 5000 Oakland Park Boulevard, Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, 33133.
“Clarence has always been a visual person and photos/art would be most appreciated,” writes Bowker. “Clarence also was interested in having a full list of every sample that’s been done on songs he wrote and performed. If you’re up for taking a run at that, you may message me here on this page. Please know that Clarence is being made comfortable and that his sister Virginia has stood tall for him, and taken care of her brother as best as humanly possible. Please say a prayer for her and for Clarence Reid, the Maestro of the Miami Sound who loved being Blowfly — the King of the Freaks.”
On Twitter, Lady Miss Kier, formerly of dance-pop trio Deee-lite, expressed her well wishes for the ill singer: