by Dan Bolles
The Burlington music community was saddened to learn that guitarist Bob "Beano" Parker passed away last night after battling an undisclosed illness for the past two years. Parker was best known as a founding member of the Wards, widely regarded as the first punk band in Vermont.
In a career dating back to the late 1970s, Parker penned some 200 songs. In addition to the Wards, he was a member of X-tractions — a precursor to the Wards — Nation of Hate, Roman Shades, Cut and, most recently, Gas & Oil. Parker was 52.
We'll have more on Parker's life and music in next week's issue, including some great stories from his friends and bandmates, info on a show planned in Beano's honor at the Monkey House for Thursday, January 23, and that time the Wards ran for mayor of Burlington against Bernie Sanders. Like, the whole band.
In the meantime, here's a video featuring the Wards' signature song, "Weapons Factory," from their seminal 1984 record — pressed on blue vinyl! — This World Ain't Pretty and Neither Are We. RIP, Beano.