Chris Lewey, Charleston rock and punk musician, dead at 46

He is survived by a wife and daughter

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Chris Lewey played in several bands across Charleston, including Cletus and Iron Cherry. - COURTESY OF CLETUS
  • Courtesy of Cletus
  • Chris Lewey played in several bands across Charleston, including Cletus and Iron Cherry.
Chris Lewey, who played bass for several Charleston punk and hard rock bands since the mid-'90s, passed away on Aug. 2. He was 46 years old.

Lewey is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and daughter. No official word has been released from his family and friends about the cause of death.

A consistent presence in the Charleston punk scene, Lewey performed with sci-fi rockers C3PO, pop-punk group Cletus, and glam rock satirists Iron Cherry, playing everything with tenacity and a smile.



"Chris, hands down, [was] the most talented musician I have ever shared a stage with. Respected and admired by fellow musicians, Charleston has lost an amazing talent," says Scott Price, Lewey's friend and Dumbskulls/Cletus bandmate. "He will be missed by many people."

Cletus vocalist Johnny Puke remembers meeting Chris Lewey through his brother, Kevin, who played guitar in Cletus until his death.

"Kevin suggested that we get his little brother and we just agreed because he was such an amazing bass player," recalls Puke. "He got to see the whole United States with his brother and play music with us for years."

Kevin Lewey performed in Cletus until he died by suicide in 1997.

Chris Lewey's bandmates remember him for his passions, just as much as his proficiency on bass.

"Most important to Chris: his family, Harper and Jen, and his love for God," Price describes. "He could shred on a skateboard or surfboard. The young man was so talented and a great father and husband. His laugh and smile is unforgettable."

"Whatever the challenges were, whenever we got up on stage, I never had to worry about Chris," says Puke. "He handled the bass with perfection, no matter what. His playing was just on another level and completely unaffected by whatever else was going on in his life. Those 40 minutes on stage, that was all that mattered was that bass playing and those notes, and he never, ever dropped the ball."

A GoFundMe page was set up by Ben Walters on behalf of Boardwalk Church to help cover funeral costs. Lewey’s funeral took place on Aug. 6.

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