Jeff Walls, of ‘80s-era Atlanta college rockers Guadalcanal Diary, has died.
The co-founder, guitarist and songwriter for the band – as well as garage rockers The Woggles, where he was known as Flesh Hammer – passed away Wednesday after battling a rare pulmonary disease.
Walls had been placed in intensive care in April as he awaited the only cure for Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease - a double lung transplant. The disease, defined as a blockage of the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart, usually results in heart failure. A specific cause of death for Walls was not given.
Murray Attaway, Walls’ friend since high school and frontman for Guadalcanal Diary, posted on his Facebook page early Wednesday evening: Today at 4:16 pm, surrounded by family, Jeff Walls left us. I have no other words.
His bandmates in the Woggles shared the sad news on Twitter.
In late April, Attaway started a GoFundMe campaign to assist Walls and his family with astronomical medical bills as he awaited the double lung transplant. More than $45,000 was raised.
As well, benefit shows were scheduled for June 7 at The Foundry in Athens and June 23 at The Earl.
Guadalcanal Diary, with roots in Atlanta and Athens, achieved its most visible success in the mid-‘80s with the albums “Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man,” “Jamboree” and “2x4.” The band broke up and reunited a couple of times since 1989, most recently in 2011 to celebrate their 30th anniversary at Athfest in Athens.
Walls, a Marietta native, once worked at Wuxtry Records in Athens. His death prompted a condolence message from his former co-workers, who noted, “His spirit will live on in the music.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.