Spector 45 Frontman Frankie Campagna Died Early This Morning At the Age of 24

Categories: Music
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Allison V. Smith
The e-mails began arriving in the Unfair Park in-box at around 10 this morning. They said: Frank Campagna has died, referring to the longtime muralist and beloved owner of the Kettle Art gallery in Deep Ellum. But, no. It was not Frank. It was his son, 24-year-old Frankie, frontman for Spector 45, who has been a familiar face in Deep Ellum since he was a little boy.

Save for the anguished messages beginning to fill his Facebook page, there are scant details at the moment: The Dallas County Medical Examiners Office says Frankie was brought in at 7 this morning and that an examination will not be performed till later this afternoon.

Moments ago, his father sent this official statement:
Frank Anthony Campagna died unexpectedly on January 1st 2011. Born October 21st 1986. Frankie was a talented musician and graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual & Performing Arts. Best known as Frankie 45 and front man for the greaser punk band, Spector 45 he delighted audiences with his over the top antics on and off the stage. He worked as a bartender at Amsterdam in Exposition Park and was loved by everyone in the Deep Ellum area as the handsome, greasy, tattooed 24 year old rock n' roller. Survived by his father, Frank Campagna; sister, Amber Campagna; mother, Angela Early; stepmother, Cindy Campagna; grandmother, Winifred Martin Campagna; aunt, Wendy Fahle; and cousins Scott & Erin Fahle. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Deep Ellum Community Association.
Spector 45 had a New Year's Eve gig in Deep Ellum. This is the last thing Frankie wrote on his Facebook page: "Getting ready to kill it tonight at the bone for new years!"

Update at 2:50 p.m.: Via Facebook, word is Kettle Art's doors will open at 7 tonight for those wishing to make a condolence call and pay their respects.

Update at 4:10 p.m.: The Dallas County Medical Examiners Office has ruled Frankie's death a suicide. His father is planning a memorial concert for this week. Pete will have more details forthcoming on DC9 at Night.

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60 comments
Johnabrahamsartwork
Johnabrahamsartwork

from mosquito...what the ...... dangit frankie you were so ...talented and a fan of mine, and i was a total fan of yours. you obviously could not communicate your intentions to me,but i would have convinced you other wise if i could have been there for you! if only you could know the extent and reach of your talent and personality and how much it positively influenced not only me but everyone who came in contact with you, you son of a ... were all pissed at you for this ...but only because we probably didnt know how much you had impacted our lives, i will miss your humor and respect greatly! you were family and a friend i love you brother and i will miss your presence! my deepest sympathy to the campagna family especially frank sr. whom i have had the honor of knowing for over 20 years, my respects to you and your daughter.god bless you all now.

someoneindallas
someoneindallas

Frankie was a neighbor of mine a few years ago. I always looked forward to running into him walking his dog sunny. He was beyond warm and friendly. I always got the feeling that he would do anything to help anybody, and if he were my good friend I could easily adore him.

Lisa Taylor
Lisa Taylor

Just back from holidays to this sad news...my heart goes out to his father and sister and all who loved him...

Jonya Redwine
Jonya Redwine

You don't know me, but because we are parents of sons who are artists, musicians and creative I sense I know you and your family. I am sad for you and your family, tears of compassion flowing on behalf of your son Frankie and you and yours. I will continue to pray that you all are comforted as you forge ahead one day at a time. Look up when the heaviness of grief lightens, Jonya Redwine

Johnny Cancer
Johnny Cancer

Rip Frankie. You were a great kid. Much respect and my condolences to friends and family. You will surely be missed.

SOM12
SOM12

There is a void left that won't be filled. Deepest condolances..... to Frank, Amber, Adam, Anthony and all the rest of his friends and family. The entire community is devastated. We miss you Frankie.

Jessica Von Grim
Jessica Von Grim

This news has been tearing at me for the past few days... I first met Frankie when they played a show in San Angelo. He was so talented, handsome, and so full of life. A very energetic and lovely soul gone too soon. Another day the music died....

Howard
Howard

Still can't believe this. I was at Kettle Saturday night and hundreds showed up. Somberness and bewilderment is how I would sum up the air.

Back in the mid-to-late 90s when I freelanced for the Observer, covering the local music scene, I'd hang out a lot in the coffeehouses in Ellum at the time and Frank would sometimes come in and have Frankie with him. He was literally a kid then. I didn't remember him but he would remember me years later, when he was all grown up, and working in places like Cafe Brazil and other spots and hanging throughout Ellum and Expo. And I started to get to know his sister starting exactly one year ago, in fact.

So for me on Saturday, it was like a flashback spanning the 10+ years of the people of the Ellum and music scene that Frank was a part of, which I happened to encounter and get to know over all these years.

I'm saddened but also, quite honestly, disturbed by this -- being much older than he was, and seeing him grow up over the years, and now his life suddenly ended.

Titleist AP2
Titleist AP2

Great article. Resources such as the one you mentioned here will be extremely helpful to myself! Thanks once again for the push!

chad
chad

I just can't believe it. I've rewritten this post a dozen times. That kid meant so much to so many.

Rest In Peace Frankie.

My thoughts and prayers are with you Frank and Amber.

Pete Freedman
Pete Freedman

There will be a memorial concert for Frankie on Thursday at Club Dada. Suggested $5 donation at the door, with proceeds benefiting the Deep Ellum Community Association. More details to come on DC9.

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

My heart goes out to the Campagna's. I can't imagine the pain. I can't help but contemplate Blows recent column about a North Dallas woman's description about her "Happy" husbands recent suicide.

He was a good man with strong values and impeccable character who made an irreversible mistake. For so many, suicide is simply the momentary mistaken belief that other options are gone.

As Xina just posted , Please, let's take care of each other and ourselves.

Justin Bigelow
Justin Bigelow

That's a tough loss, my condolences to the Campagna family.

Xina Jones
Xina Jones

Wrenchingly sad... yet inspiring to see everyone coming together. Much love to the Campagnas and to all of you who relate. Please, let's take care of each other and ourselves.

Oldguyokiehomer
Oldguyokiehomer

Frankie was a great musician and I always wished Spector 45 would come back to play NE Oklahoma.

Casey O.
Casey O.

Such a tragic shame. I didn't know Frankie very well, but I had met him a couple of times and had seen him play a few times. He was obviously a sweet guy and a talented musician. We'll never truly understand why things like this happen, but perhaps we can best honor Frankie's memory by letting those we care about know how much they mean to us every chance we get. Life is short and fragile and precious. Rest in peace Frankie. Deepest sympathies to his friends and family.

Shannon Brown
Shannon Brown

This is so tragic. I did not know Frankie but you can tell how bright his star shined by all the broken hearts left behind. RIP

Pb4567string
Pb4567string

heartbreaking news.. Frank and family you have my deepest condolences -PB

JEH
JEH

This is very sad. I just met him Thursday night when he played a friend's birthday party out in East Texas. He seemed fine that night.

Irony
Irony

Oh yeah and "Ghost of scott"....lemonparty.org per your profile. Sick SOB

Irony
Irony

Because if suicide was the choice because of drugs, being bullied, gay etc. family and friends have an opportunity to speak out against the reason dumbass.

Irony
Irony

Truly sad for anyone to kill themselves but why is there no speculation on "WHY" he chose suicide?? Was he being bullied, gay, drugs, in trouble with the law or just depressed. Ironic how the Dallas Observer bloggers pick and choose there crucifixion.

BobCat
BobCat

There are no words for this except the apologies and angst we will never hear. Frankie, you have left a hole bigger then you ever could have imagined. We are less in this loss, but better for his friendship. Miss ya, buddy.

BC

Bizzaro Galore
Bizzaro Galore

WTF!? I leave Dallas for two years and the place just goes to hell. This sucks. I am shocked and saddened.

Sz
Sz

Tragic. Everyone love and treasure each other. It's too easy to slip to the darkest ideas of despair. Poor sweet Frankie.

Jasna
Jasna

I wish I could be there!! Sending my love and deepest condolences =(

Dave_little
Dave_little

Man. What a drag. I am so sorry for his family and friends.

jennifer elaine
jennifer elaine

I am absolutely shocked. Frankie was a neighbor a few years back, and I loved talking to him about music. He had so much knowledge and enthusiasm about local music, and not only that, he was a genuinely lovely person. He was personable, willing to help, and just a flat-out sweetheart. I just adored him and my heart breaks that he is no longer with us. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. What a sad, sad day.

T. tilletti
T. tilletti

This is so awful. The Dallas community has lost a real gem. My thoughts go to his family and friends.

Inekaguerra
Inekaguerra

So sad for this. Frankie was truly one of the best people in this town. So sad for his family.

bill holston
bill holston

I'm just brokenhearted. Frankie was without fail, an energetic, friendly, creative young man. He left me feeling better every single encounter. Frank, Amber and Family, much love and respect.

Alexander Flores
Alexander Flores

This is a god-damned tragedy. My heart goes out to Frank senior and the entire family. A part of Deep Ellum was truly lost today, and will be missed more than any defunct club or bar ever could. Rest in peace, Frankie 45.

Copasetic Mat
Copasetic Mat

We will all miss Frankie, didn't matter if you knew him from afar in a crowded venue, or passing in the streets of Deep Ellum, or for the few who knew him truly. I myself will never forget his smile and the saddest part of it all is the world will never know how his simple smile could warm your soul til your bones burned.... My heart and love goes to you on this day Frank Sr, much love from an old friend ~ ...

Tawny Painter
Tawny Painter

Very sad. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and friends. In Loving Memory...You will be missed.

Jason Roberts
Jason Roberts

My heart goes out to Frank, Amber and the rest of the Campagna family. Such a sad loss of a wonderful life.

Anon
Anon

Fucking tragic.

McCollumray
McCollumray

Only the good die youngI'm so sorry for the family and friendsGod be with you

GoTeamWarr
GoTeamWarr

Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Frank and family. We loved Frankie so very much...

Cabe Booth
Cabe Booth

This is just awful. I watched Frankie and his sis grow up. Obviously Frankie didn't "hang out" in Deep Ellum until his teens, but his dad would bring the kids to DECA when all of us were working or whatever mural he or we might be doing. I am truely sorry Frank. I will see you tonight

Ghost of scott
Ghost of scott

Why would you speculate? And does it really matter why? You're an idiot.

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