June 14, 2004 by

Derek Frigo

83 comments

Categories: Musicians

Derek Frigo, the former guitarist for Enuff Z’Nuff, died on May 28 of an apparent drug overdose. He was 37.

The son of singer/actress Brittney Browne and violinist/songwriter Johnny Frigo, Derek originally planned on pursuing a career in plastic surgery. But the influence of musicians like Kris Kristofferson and Eddie Van Halen soon inspired him to become a professional guitarist.

Frigo released his debut album, “LeMans,” when he was only 19 years old. In 1988, he joined the Chicago-based glam rock band, Enuff Z’Nuff. The group scored two hit singles, “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle,” off its self-titled album and was named the “hot new band” of 1991 by Rolling Stone magazine.

Frigo played with the band until 1992, then moved to Los Angeles to work on new material and learn how to produce and engineer music. He recently reunited with Enuff Z’Nuff to perform on the upcoming album, “?” and planned to tour with the band overseas.
The energetic guitarist also spent more than a decade battling drug and alcohol addiction. Seven months ago, he sent his family a letter that vowed sobriety, but was unable to sustain a life of clean living.

Listen to a Tribute From Donnie Vie

Watch the “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle” Videos

83 Responses to Derek Frigo

  1. Mark Schimmoller

    Well,Well,-I was deeply saddened to hear the passing of Derek last week,It has greatly affected me being a fan and a musician who has had my own share of chemical dependency problems.My favorite Derek story is when I was playing at the Metro one night and I got too loaded to even notice that after the set Derek was at the show watching and I walked by this guy w huge tall hair who is a hero of mine,and I didnt even recognize him,the next my manager at the time (John Lemert)told me about it and I felt like the biggest ass,I would have loved to meet him and tell him thank you for the music.The music he has made w/znuff has had a tremendous influence on me in my life and will always be w me.Iam thankful for his time spent here and hope he is at peace.

  2. Anmarea

    I knew Derek Frigo. Although I had not seen him since he moved to L.A. I was saddened and stunned to hear of his death. People said a lot of things about Derek, but he was a good guy with a heart of gold. He was always quick with a smile and a joke. One of my favorite memories of him is a night when we were locked outside of the warehouse where he practiced. It was a freezing cold Chicago winter and Derek let me wear his scarf, immediately following with a remark about how he would suffer lockjaw without it. Then he winked at me and put his arm around my shoulder. Derek was a gentleman and he had a kind heart. I won’t ever think of him as a tragedy. I will always remember my friend, the guy who had three cats he talked to like babies and the guy who used to hug me and kiss my cheek whenever I arrived at his door. God bless you, Derek. I hope you have found the the peace you did not have while you were with us. And thank you. Thank you for being you and for being my friend. I will keep you in my heart forever.

  3. Michelle

    Derek was the real deal. He was the most talented musician I ever met, but more importantly he was a sweet, sensitive guy. He was the best boyfriend a girl could want when he was sober. He was thoughtful, loving, funny, and kind. I miss him so much. Fly high, DJF, we love you.

  4. DeniB

    Wow. I just heard about this. Only last night, I was watching some old MTV videos I’d taped in the late 80’s, and saw “New Thing”. I was remembering the time I met Derek at one of their shows where my husband was on the local crew. I was backstage, and Derek went out of his way to be friendly and help me feel at home. I remember thinking how incredibly down to earth and sweet he seemed.
    Many blessings to all his family, friends and loved ones.

  5. Michael Rooney

    I went to Harvard High School with Dekek in Chicago. He was always a good guy and made me laugh. We went on a high school trip to Alpine, or Wilmont to go skiing. Dekek was skiing down the hill with his tight leather jacket and blue jeans, cig hanging out of his mouth, freezing his butt off. I thought his rooster doo was gonna crack.
    Derek will be missed.

  6. grace

    i have to admit that back then the sex,drugs and rock and roll life was for me, and derek and i had plenty of those nights. i’ve had a lot of laughs with and alot of tears over that boy. though i haven’t seen him since right before van died i always thought of him and hoped and wished that he was on the path to healing. it’s heartbreaking to know i’ll never see those big brown eyes again.

  7. Dax Jenson

    I just learned today that Mr. Frigo had died recently and THAT SUCKS! I have wondered for some time what had became of him. I never met the gentleman but was always moved and amazed at his abilty to play AMAZING guitar that ALWAYS enriched every song I had ever heard him play on. He played for the song NOT to show off his ability and in doing so his ability always came shining through. I have always thought that Enuff Znuff’s music suffered without his input.
    This is NOT meant as a put down to them or their current guitar player it’s just that Derek had a quality. Put it this way Axl Rose may reform Guns & Roses but without Slash it’s just not Guns and Roses…….It might be better, it might be worse but whatever it is it is just not the same. I was further saddened to hear he had died of a drug overdose, what a waste! I’ve played in bands most of my life and it always seemed to me that the more talented a guy was the more self destrotive he was too. Thank Gawd I was only addicted to sex, the only thing I had to worry about killin me were boyfriends. Well anyways tis a sad day for talent like his is rare indeed. May he find the peace he was searching for in life in death.

  8. rob vickory

    i met derek when enuff znuff was touring with NElson back in 1991, they had come over to jam with like some local band at the cclub next door and take in some tunes. i saw them a few months later at a theme park in like a larger town and i was trying to get back stage and chip znuff saw me at the gate, and said ” let that kid in, he is cool” . so i got back there and i rememeber asking DONNIE what was his favorite beatles song!? and he said NEW THING then he laughed and said , no its perhaps AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING! well i recall that the manager for enuff back then was upset with the members for doing something that was really bad, but would not say.
    looking back to it all, i can see now why derek is dead and donnie is strung out on methadone, not to mention chip is A pot head!
    i guess i prob sound negative or down on the guys, i just hate to like know that as good and talented as they are and were that they could not reach more peeps with the melodic tunes.
    my friend ian and i recently had a chance to catch enuff znuff last summer on the METAL SLUDGE tour and after the show, monaco ( handling vocals and guitar) took a long amount of time to talk to us about the band, music and the state that its in, and donnie and what he is doing these days.
    i will always love enuff znuff and think of them as one of the greats of all time, i have everything that they have ever put out and that includes like donnies solo cd, that is really good.
    ill always remember derek as a guy that had amazing harmonics, groovy solos and amazing over all talent. mostly i will remember him saying that without him that they would be THE BAY CITY ROLLERS on that video from 1991!
    peace out ENUFF FANS and i Hope that DEREK is in PEACE

  9. chigirl

    I don’t hang out with the same crowd I used to and only recently heard the very sad news about Derek. He and I knew eachother as kids and then dated a bit in late ’89/90. He used to always ask me how a “nice girl” like me could be interested in ” a guy like him.” I only wish he saw the better part of himself and was able to kick his deamons. He was one of the nicest, sweetest guys I have ever met and it was always so sad that he didn’t believe in himself as much as others did. He was truly talented and it is such a shame that couldn’t find the happiness he desereved. he will be missed.

  10. Chuck Oney

    I met Derek when my band ONEY opened for Enuu Z’Nuff in Huntington West Virgina on their first tour. Each band had seperate dressing rooms and Derek wandered into our dressing room looking for a brush to borrow. He was holding a six pack of Budweiser and I was holding a 5th of Jim Beam in my hand. I was looking for something to chase a shot with and I noticed he was eyeballing my bottle of Beam. I gave him a brush and he asked me if he could have a shot of whiskey and I said yeah if I could chase it with one of those Bud’s he had. He gave me 2 can’s and we did a few shots together and talked about bands we liked. That was the only time I met him and he was very cool to me and my girlfriend. RIP Derek!!!

  11. sarah

    I would sincerely like to thank Derek for being strong enuff to carry out his dream of being a rock guitarist. In doing so he, & Donnie,Chip & Vik, brought some of the most amazing and beatutiful music to a small English village & helped me realise life can be good. Love always.

  12. RUBEN DE LA ROSA

    DEREK FRIGO WAS ONE OF THE TRUE UNSUNG HEREO`S OF GUITAR PLAYING, A TRUE SHREDDER INDEED.I THINK THERE DOESN`T GO A DAY THAT I DON`T CRANK ON MY “LEMANS” LP “ON THE STREETS” A TRUE METAL CLASSIC,NOT TO MENTION THE OTHER SELF TITLED LEMANS RECORD PLUS, ALL OF HIS WORK WITH ENUFF Z NUFF.I HAPPEN TO MEET DEREK AT CITY LIMITS IN FT.LAUDERDALE FL.WHEN E NUFF WAS ON THERE FIRST TOUR .HE WAS SUCH A NICE GUY TALKED TO ME FOR ABOUT TWENTY MINUTES,ABOUT A LOT OF GUITAR STUFF.I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT.HE WAS A GOD TO ME.RIP MY BROTHER. RUBEN DE LA ROSA

  13. camille4

    Always a gentleman,unbelievably amazing guitarist…..im honored to have had him play one of my functions……and a sweet spirit. we will miss you!

  14. Craig

    There are five guys in Los Angeles rock who have that unique sound. I have played with two. Craig Collins Turner and Sinhue Quirin. Derek Frigo was another. The guy had more talent than he knew what to do with. My god man what I would do to play with a another axeplayer like that. Just to even jam. Derek was a true artist and most artist’s let demons get the best of them. Look no further than Mozart. Derek your playing will live on in me. I will rock the house on the skins to your Enuff Z Nuff stuff.
    It pisses me off Hollyweird eats up another talent. I am so thankful I had the willpower to just walk away from all the cocaine and booze. The sad thing is when you’re in a semi successful band you never pay for any of it. I honestly thank god I am alive.
    If I had only known you Derek I could have helped you. 🙁 I was in the same dark room once and I found my own way out.
    Rest in Peace brother. And tell my friend Randy Rhoads I never forget him.

  15. Fabio

    I’m from Italy and since ever a great fun of the best band in the world…I miss Derek now, more than the time he decided to leave the band.
    We lose a great musician, a great guitar-hero, and a part of the soul of enuff z’nuff

  16. lester leland palocsay

    Here it is. As one of Derek’s techs in his old Lemans days around San Francisco, Derek has passed and i will continue …

  17. redheadradiobabe

    I just was reading about the Parent Benefit happening this month in Chicago and happened upon this website. I never met Derek, but Enuff Z’nuff’s music was always some of my favorite. I worked in a Chicago area record store during the time when their first 3 records came out and I played them over and over in the store while I was working, not only to help promote the band, but because every time I listened to them I heard a little something different that I didn’t hear on the previous listens. It’s a shame to lose another fantastic, young virtuoso such as Derek.

  18. Kyrie Murphy

    He was my dad. And no, im not lying. He was w/ my mom after a concert. He denied everything cuz his manager was mad at him fer getting my birthmom , hannah, pregnant.She had to give me up fer adoption cuz she couldn’t take care of me. Im sad to hear he OD’d cuz i was hoping to be able to contact him sometime. yeah.

  19. Sona

    Sad to hear about it. Was hoping to be able to bump into him this winter. Dave Shornden (a former drummer for Enuff Z’Nuff and good friend of Derek’s) and I are expecting our first child this winter and wanted to surprise a lot of his old running buddies with the good news. Oh well. It’s a terrible disease and I’m sad it took Derek down. Dave has 2 years clean now and I know how hard it was to get that. Hope everyone else in Chicago is doing good.

  20. Jesse Kazemek

    When I was in H.S in 1991 my friend Shelly who is Vic Fox’s cousin said, “Hey Jesse, Derek Frigo is leaving Enuff Znuff you should audition for them. Being a HUGE Znuff fan, and a fan of Derek’s I said no way. without Derek or any of the original cast there is no Enuff Znuff. This was 13 years ago. (Plus I was 16 LOL) Since then, I have bought every cd everything I could do to help these unsung heroes reach their dream. I heard Donnie sing a song on WVVX years ago called rockabye dreamland with Chip. He said it was about rockstars who died etc….And if I recall right he wrote it with Derek. WOW. That’s all I can say. One more thing I would like to say to end all of this bullshit drug use. Just play the music guys, that should be a drug enough. Donnie is on Methadone for his back. Not to get high. Chip smokes dope but who doesnt? Its a prescription drug now. Anyways, I just hope Enuff Znuff makes more music. I am one of their biggest fans. Especially with the loss of Derek they should make MORE music. Mabye I am just being stingy. But thank you Derek. And thank you Chip and Donnie because you are my John and Paul.
    Sincerely,
    Jesse Kazemek

  21. David

    I’ve never met any of the members of Enuff Z’Nuff, but I do know I saw them in Providence RI in the spring of ’90 with a band called The Front who later changed their name to Baker’s Pink. About a year later, I was moving from one place in Van Nuys, CA to another Van Nuys, space, and on my many trips between the two places fell in love with Strength. I had recently gotten the cd as a promo from Tower Records where I was working at the time. The songs hit me hard for relationship reasons, and the Gulf War going on (The Way Home/Coming Home). The music and the lyrics really struck a chord. For many years following, that cd has been one of my favorites and one of the very few that has caused me to shed more than a few tears. Derek’s passing has surely caused more teary eyes. R.I.P. Derek, thanks for the music.
    David Gilbert
    Providence, RI

  22. christian

    i’m from france and i’m a huge huge fan of enuff’z’enuff since the beginning,i always been sad about how they coud hurt temselves with drugs and other stuff ,knowing how talented they are,i’ve been very shocked to know about dereck’s death it’s so unjust!!i neverr have the chance to see them live and i hoped since a long time that he could get back with the band.now he is gone,rest in peace man,we’ll think about you every time

  23. Dennis Alves

    I Met Derek Frigo Twice, Once At The 2000 Namm Show in L.A.(At The Peavey Booth) Where He Had Walked Into The Amp Room with A Hot Chick On His Arm, And Plugged Into A 5150 II, Man,He Ripped! And Another Time At Guitar Center Sherman Oaks Ca, Where I Was Working,and I Said Hi,And He Remembered Me From The Namm Show!,And What Struck Me As Him Being So Cool Was, Not Only Did He Remember Me,But He Said We Should “Hang Out” Sometime! Very Cool Dude!

  24. Lauren

    I remember Derek from back in the day. A friend of mine and I (Beth) used to drive up from Orland over to Chip’s apartment in Beverly on Long. Derek always used to let us in to chill with him and Chip. They were so cool. There wasn’t a show she and I missed, EZN was our lives back then. They were always so willing to really get to know their fans. Derek was a cool dude and I can remember smokin a joint or two with him and Chip a few times.

  25. Marty Hill

    I remember spending time with Derek and the rest of the guys in Wilmington N.C at the old Mad Monk club where we shot video tape of that performance, and being taken with his great talent, and humor. He was a sweet nice guy, and was one of the most impressive technical guitarists that I have seen and I am a professional guitarist myself. I send out all my love and support to my friend Chip, and the rest of the guys.God needs great guitarists too. rock on Derek. Marty

  26. anthony

    What a shame ! I just found out about this today. Very bizarre too as Derek passed away on my birthday. I’ll always remember him. I had the pleasure of catching Derek while he was with Enuf Z’nuff on there very 1st tour in support of their debut album. I was djing at a rock club named Streets in New Rochelle N.Y. and they were awesome. rest in peace.

  27. Bobby

    Strange that the last poster on this thread mentioned Derek passed on their birthday. May 28th is also my birthday. I first saw EZN at The Bayou in Washington, DC. New right away these guys were the real deal and have been a fan ever since. R.I.P. DF

  28. gene alvear

    I first met Derek at my place aka “The Studio”, back in 1980 Chicago. He became our new lead guitarist for the band that lived with me called Battleaxe (later known as Le Mans). Derek changed the face of the earth around there. In 1981 I was sorry to see those guys move on… He created such a vaccum there. Luckly not for long a another band “We’re Staying” headed up by Chip Znuff moved in. Be cool Derek…

  29. hartz

    Frigo and I hung out a bunch in 2002. we talked about addiction, relapse, sobriety, life….he may not have always done the next right thing, but he wanted to. I’ll remember DF as a little guy with a huge heart….
    Happy Trails….until we meet again.

  30. steve fitzgerald

    I met Enuff when they were on tour with Nelson,me and my brother was leaving the parkin lot and there was chip he asked my brother and I to ride him to the Princess Royal . the hotel they stayed in,so we did. he told us what room they were in an sayed come and party, so we said ok.We left and went and got 2 cases of bush bear and my old acustic guitar. we went back to the room and met all the guys Derek ,Vic,Derek said lets go down to the bar ,so we did hot bloody mary’s Derek’s drink. me and him talked all nite he was so down to earth ,cool guy he wanted drug’s my brother gave him a darvaset he wanted to hit the crime light district in search of some drugs he said come on well take the damn bus with the ugly horses on it and laughed we partied till daylight we were in the hotel room jammin on my guitar an chip was gonna trade me his peace sign sunglasses he wore in fly high video for my guitar and Derek said you dont want that guitar its a piece of shit. It is, I still have it ,I call it my river guitar.I wished I would have gotten it autograghed by the band . I do have Derek and the rest of Znuff’s autog. on my concert stub. That was a nite I’ll never forget I’ve always wondered what happened to those guys I would love to talk to Chip or Vic E-mail me guy’s I’m sure they dont remember that nite.Ocean City Maryland the beach.Derek was a great guitar player I still listen to there music .I won my battle with drugs and alcohol I just wished I could have talked to Derek before it was to late.Peace Out guy’s.

  31. Rey Flores

    I truly believe Derek was saying goodbye to even the most remote of fans like myself. I did not know his name until tonight, but I sure knew his guitar licks.
    I had not listened to “New Thing” since about the early 90’s, but something compelled me to look up the song again on Rhapsody & record it. WOW! What a rockin’ power-pop tune that is like a cold Coca-Cola on a really hot summer day w/ Derek’s guitar being the ice that makes it that cool!
    I was just telling my wife about how I would torture her with screaming tremolos & killer power-pop hooks (she’s a ‘Deadhead’-folkie type), because I could not get “New Thing” out of my head.
    All I knew was that Derek’s ability to play formulaic-rock guitar & actually make it his own was what has made my difficult days recently a true pleasure.
    Thank you Derek for the awesome, screaming guitar that conveyed your love of music & life so perfectly. It was about time that heaven needed a new guitar player to kick some ass up there somewhat. I mean, Jimi is cool & all, but for all eternity?…Jesus needed some cranked up Marshalls with full-on reverb & gain to welcome Pope John Paul II!
    Your family & friends were blessed to have had you in their lives. I’m just sorry I didn’t have you for a guitar teacher. Period.
    I will dedicate my next column in the ‘Hoy’ Spanish-language newspaper to you. It will be published by the Tribune & available on June 6, 2005.
    Love & much appreciation,
    Rey Flores
    (773)213-1081

  32. Aaron

    I had the pleasure of living with Derek for a time in L.A. He had inspired a lot of us going through the recovery process. My deepest sympathy, as ever, goes out to Derek’s family.

  33. Bobby "Rob" LeMat

    I only knew Derek for a few months right before he called it quits……he was one of the few sincere people I’ve met in LA…….got to hear and see him play to me personally when he lived with some dude named Brent in some house on Lankershim and will forever be humbled and inspired by the experience……..he could light up six strings like a comet out-blazin the gravity of a black hole…….that sound will ring forever throughout this world though sadly he has left.

  34. Lee Abernathy

    I hated to hear the news of Derek’s passing! – The way he made his guitar squeal will always get me off…bless him for giving me the time of day back in ’93 on the ‘Animals’ tour, he was totally cool, and I still have the picture of me with him- I will always cherish it! –I’ll miss him dearly! -a fan forever.

  35. Brett Stafford

    I still remember the reviews in Kerrang magazine at the beginning of the 90’s, saying how great this band were. I duly went out and bought ‘Strength’ and was hooked instantly by the quality of the songs, their construction, and the band’s zest for life. It’s sad to me that the colour and joy they brought to my life, and everyone else’s who heard them, could not have gone back into Derek’s heart as reading all these tributes sure shows how much he was loved. I never knew him, yet I will miss him. I think it’s the longer lasting pain that drugs cause, that always steered me away from any short term high. In looks and manner, he reminds me of a guitarist friend I used to know here in England back at that time. Today I was listening to their debut and it’s strange how long ago this was recorded, yet it is still so fresh. I wish they could have got the recognition they deserved. My thoughts and best wishes go out to Derek’s family and all other fans. Thank you Chip, Donnie, Derek and Vikki for those songs as they will live for me until I am an old man. God Bless.

  36. Diane Kelley

    It’s strange, I’m sitting at my desk in a Boston office building (I just moved from Chicago) and I had this real strong urge to google Derek Frigo and I found this Blog. I remember Derek from back in the day when he used to hang out with my then boyfriend Charlie and he was always a treat. All I can say is that he was just Derek. He was always worrying about how he looked (especially his hair) and was funny as shit.
    I just viewed the “Fly High Michelle” video which is still one of my favorite songs and got choked up. I remember when he was over to the house a lot I was worried that he might become a permanent fixture but he was always on the move. It’s strange, I’ve thought more about him now after his death than when he was alive.
    I know this really tore up my old beau Charlie, they were very close.

  37. Stephanie

    Oh my God,
    I am sooooooooo sorry that I never saw him again. I moved to L.A. to get away and never knew he had been there.
    I changed my life and its a tragedy that he couldn’t change his…
    I’ve always missed him.
    I only hope that Donnie, Chip, Vicky Fox and Billie are all right now. My son misses them all.

  38. Charles Decker

    It’s really sad when something like this happens. Derek was in one of the funnest bands of all time of glam. Enuff Z’Nuff was that band that you could always sing along to no matter what tune it was and I thank them for all the awesome tunes they gave all of us. Rest in Peace Derek. We all will miss you immensely but you will always be remembered by your fans.

  39. DANNY

    DEREK WAS MY GOOD FRIEND AND I WAS BLESSED TO HAVE KNOWN HIM, I LIVED WITH DEREK FOR A YEAR AND WAS ON MY WAY TO PICK HIM UP THE NIGHT HE DIED, ONLY IF I COULD OF BEEN SOONER I LOVE YOU BROTHER. MISS YOU SO MUCH

  40. Marc

    Derek, i grew up with your guitar Licks and you have been a notable influence in my music culture..i’ll never forget the “I could never be without You” hit,that song touched my soul so deely.. Drugs suck so much, miss you dude..

  41. Phil

    I like 2 of the other people who have left tributes was also born the same date as Derek died. Impossible for me to know any of EZN as they never came to Australia where I am from. I got into them only 2 or 3 years ago after picking up Animals for $5.00. I loved it and even though I had heard of them I couldn’t beleive that they didn’t get bigger. They as a band and Derek as a guitar player are 2 of the most underrated entities in the history of Rock n Roll.When are rock musicians gonna learn that drugs aren’t cool?

  42. Bevin

    I miss Derek. For a minute there he was like my uncle the “Rock Star”. lol He was fuckin funny too. He moved into my house and started his studio there with some of his band members. Originally he was there to support my family, but thats when I think he slipped. Little by little I saw him spiral into a dangerous lifestyle. I know it wasn’t my fault but I will never – never – forget this part of my life. Just so all of you know I tried my best…I begged, cried, and screamed at the top of my lungs literally enoughs enough. I had never really known about drugs before this but I know now… I love Derek dearly.
    Derek: I love you, and I miss you. I haven’t started my singing career yet, but you and Brent always believed in me. If I ever make it or even make an album. It’s all for you and your love of music. Your guitar could sing. I wish we could have sang together when you were here. Man, you were apart of my family!!!, and even if you weren’t sober – it didn’t matter. I prayed for you then and I pray for you now…you really were important to me and I will never forget you. You were the fuckin shizznit.
    Always…Bevin

  43. nick roxx

    Damn – I just found out about this – Derek you could make that guitar talk. I think the last time I seen you was is 93 when Stern was doing his book signing over in Philly on South St. I was wacked you were wacked, it was part of the life we were living. I just wish you got it dude. It’s better when you’re clean and sober. It’s hard and I know what you went thru, that monkey is a fucking bitch. Dude I will miss you bro.
    RIP
    Roxx

  44. PJ Marx

    I just learned of Derek’s passing. My memories of him go back to when we were both teens. Derek was one of the finest rock guitarists I have ever known. We played together at many NAMM shows, I remember him calling me to tell me he had joined LeMans, I remember sitting in with Enuff Z Nuff at a few of their gigs, I remember partying with the guys, and I remenber what a warm, caring, human being Derek was. RIP bro’

  45. kerry

    I just found out that derek passed away,how heartbreaking it is to hear of another rock tragedy.Where does it stop? I always liked derek’s playing,although i never met him ,isaw them in concert in dallas,tx and they kicked ass .Please who ever may read this, learn from derek’s unfortunate mistake ,get lost in music don’t get lost in abuse .My deepest condolences go to the family of derek and band members that loved him so much

  46. K. Walters

    My daughter and son-in law were personal friends to the members of this band. I never had the opportunity to meet them, but I am sure Derek will leave a black hole in the world.

  47. Rob Leroy

    Hey, Derek and I were very good friends in high school back in Chicago. I just read of Dereks death, my heart is saddened, filled with fondness and a few giggles as I look over the various websites, pics and articles of Dereks Music career… Derek was unique.
    My thoughts are with his friends and family today, and a special wish for his father John, whom I knew and whos love for Derek glowed from his very being. I feel for your loss.
    It has been 25 years since I have seen Derek. Derek helped me through a very difficult time in my life. He didn’t do anything in particular, he was just my friend. He propably had no idea how much his being there meant to me at the time.
    I am greatful and proud to have known Derek, God bless ~~~ Rob

  48. P.J.

    Very cool to see that that the “candle” still burns to bright for this guy in the hearts and minds of so many who have written in. I followed Derek’s career from theh onset with Lemans then Enuf Z Nuff, Texas Terry and the Stiff Ones and finally with Logan’s Heroes. His manager with Logan’s Heroes lived with my ex- and I but I never had the opportunity to meet him. I hope that everyone out there can learn something from such a tragic loss. God bless you man…..hope you’ve finally found the inner peace you may have been looking for..R.I.P

  49. mike Lincoln

    Im so happy 2c so meny people loved & cared about Derek. I grew up with Derek in Chicago and watched him blossemed into one of the greatest ax players on the planet.
    My heart goes out to Johnny, his dad.
    My favorite memory was seeing them play together @ Park West in chicago.
    I knew Derek loved that….
    Peace & Love forever my fried…..Mike

  50. Jim Ross

    I was doing college radio in Irvine CA in 1984 when another metal DJ played the first LeMans record. I can’t remember the song but really liked it. Then in late 1985/1986 the second LeMans record came out. I thought it was one of the best records of that year. Great guitar and production. “Love Lies” and “Misunderstanding” were standouts… This is a big favorite subject of mine: the inefficiency of the record industry–how industry push is much more important than the music on the record itself. I’m going to guess it never became big due to the record company for some reason not promoting it….fights with managers, record company going bankrupt etc. I’ll bet many who knew Derek don’t even know about this record. Then that amazing ENuff ZNuff “New Thing” with an absolutely awesome guitar solo ending–stereo and delays and all….Only today August 30 2006 did i accidentally read online Derek died over two years ago. A shock and a huge loss.

  51. Erik Carpenter

    No one Seems to remember ENuff Znuff in the open for Mr Big in 89 Derek rocked The Place Toads Place in New Haven Ct that is. Cool Dudes Total Shame.. Ez does it! Peace

  52. Yuji Niwano

    I met Derek for the first and last time at The Avalon Nightclub in Chicago at an EZN concert during the “Tweaked” era. Being a big EZN fan and one of the co-founders of the Japanese EZN fan club, PEACE PATROL JAPAN, I went up to him and told him who I was. I remember we played pool together and had a few beers while he spoke about wanting to come to Japan to play concerts. I remember that night he wanted to get on stage so bad with EZN and was asking around for his fans to shout “Frigo! Frigo!” before the encore, so Donnie and Chip would be forced to let him up on stage. It never happened that night….I wish him the very best in his life upstairs with peace…

  53. pauline bond

    Enuff z’nuff have been the soundtrack to my life since “fly high michelle”
    i saw them blow poison off the stage in london around 1993 , the best live show i ever saw .
    moved back to new zealand and spent my dayze fantasizing that Donnie would walk past my house and fall in love with me .
    Derek , you are awesome , loved , missed .
    Peace , always

  54. Elliott Musikantow

    25 years ago… A teenager with an electric guitar, and a marshall amp stands facing his father whose violin sits at the ready. Thus begins one of the most amazing impromptu jam sessions I have ever witnessed.
    Same teenager, same timeline, I bring a stack of music, some Led Zeppelin, some Aerosmith, a little bit of everything. The most difficult to play of all that I could find.
    I get a laugh, and then I get each song note for note, lead for lead… I toss the sheets in the air in awe and amazement.
    All this in a fathers apartment looking out over lake Michigan.
    I pray you have found the peace you deserve Derek.
    God bless keep your family.

  55. John Douard

    I only now found this blog after trying to Google Derek out of curiosity about what he was up to. I was one of Derek’s teachers at Harvard High School one year. He was in several of my classes, including philosophy, where we occasionally discussed music. He was not only a very talented musician, but he was an extraordinarily intelligent and decent guy, and very very funny. I still tell people stories about some things that happened back in the day. I have one of Enuff z’ Nuff’s first recordings, and I saw the band on Letterman. I was very impressed. Even in high school he played a great guitar. I am very sad about his death. My sympathies go out to all of his friends and family, especially Johnny, with whom I had had some parent/teacher conferences. The world does not need to lose a man and musician of Derek’s caliber.
    John

  56. Tc

    He looked cool when I saw him on stage. he had the biggest hair and a ciggie dangling dangerously out of his mouth.
    But man, could he rip!!!
    RIP Derek!
    Ive just added a cool Frigo solo to YouTube. Search for it and enjoy!
    Tc

  57. Jeff Ganz

    What a long strange trip..I met Derek’s mom in 1974 when she sat in at one of my first ever professional gigs – a Bar Mitzvah in Queens, NYC where I’m from; she sang “Till There Was You” splendidly. Cut to 1976 when I was visiting my brother in Chicago and spoke to Johnny Frigo on the phone for the first time. At that time he was also a very busy studio bassist in Chicago as well as the jazz fiddle giant we all knew him to be and was extremely friendly and helpful. The next freaky coincedence was in 1991 when I was at at Dress Rehearsal Studios in Chicago when I was playing bass with with Johnny Winter; Enuff Z’nuff was in the next room and I had the opportunity to finally meet Derek and relate the above tales to him; he got a big kick out of it. He was way cool in addition to being a serious contender as a guitarist. I just heard about both of their passings the same day (7-9-07) when I was playng at the House Of Blues in Chicago. It freaked me out; they were amazing both as musicians and people; I wish their friends and fans everywhere who were lucky to hear and know them my deepest sympathy.

  58. Flip

    I met Enuff Z Nuff after a Gig at The Town and Country club in London and , well, they were such a great bunch of blokes, Derek especially. I always thought I kept my ear close to the ground with music but nope, this had passed me by and i’m very sad. A top guitarist with such a cool band. At a party or in a car, the Enuff sound was always refreshingly different from what was similar music (I know what I mean!) There has to be one hell of a gig going on in heaven! God Bless.

  59. Sébastien

    I love ENUFF Z’NUFF , and DEREK was a very great guitar player.
    i was very happy when i knew you come back in ENUFF Z’NUFF a few years ago….
    DEREK R.I.P.
    i miss you…
    i think you rock in heaven with ERIC CARR, TIM KELLY, RAY GILLEN, ROBBIN CROSBY….
    Rock In Peace.
    Sebastien (French fan)

  60. Martin Chevalier

    Happened to catch Mary McPartlan’s “Piano Jazz” tonight on my local Public Radio. I try to catch Mary’s long standing program as often as I can for the sweet surprises. Derek’s old man, John passed last year at a ripened “90”. Had Derek a skoshe of his hard working, talented Pop’s chemistry, he should have lived another 50 yrs.

  61. Alan Carter

    My buddies & I saw them in like 88 when Shy England opened for them in Dayton,Oh. at a club called Mcguffys.Still to this day one of the best shows with 2 bands i’ve ever seen.Anyhow both bands hung in the bar afterwards & Derek bummed a grit off one of my pals.Nothing huge but he & both bands were really nice & accomadating.Of course a majority of tributes here have heard alot of Enuff’s catalog but if you havent heard Shy England or can find a copy of their Mispent Youth disc you’ll see why that show was so awesome.

  62. Radian

    What sad news. I knew Derek back in the day in Chicago – we had mutual friends in HS whose places we would hang out and party at, and one of those friends recently told me about his death. He was a talented musician and a genuinely nice guy, and I’m sad to hear he’s gone.

  63. klaus

    Why?
    Maybe he loved all of us so much more than we could ever have truly loved him. I saw it every time our eyes met.
    He was a deeply caring and loving human being and perhaps too few of us tried to really care for him.
    He was a prodigy but he also was whimsical like a kid. I think if we had taken the poison out of his hands……he might have listened.
    Derek was a truly gifted human. He could sense how you felt just by looking in your eyes.
    I can still see those eyes and the kindness behind them.
    See you soon brother
    Klaus
    He loved us more than he loved himself.

  64. martin

    I can’t believe that today 3/9/09 I’m just finding out that derek passed away. I am very saddend by his death. I’ve always felt that he was an incredible musician. And he will be missed by me. R.I.P. Derek.

  65. leroy

    great musician.. lemans days bit of a biter of VH but changed his style when joining enuff. i think the boys told him to “mellow it up” and not overplay….he loved harmonics!!!
    i call him the harmonic man!
    never met the guy but would of loved to have smacked some sense into him.
    absolutely brilliant-his control is faantastic RIP

  66. Sunday

    I grew up with Derek since grade School. We grew up in the same neighborhood in Chicago…I was older then him and I always told him even at 15 that there is no way “That talent of his could not be discovered”
    What a great Gene he inherited from his Father!!
    His talent for guitor and music and his personality and Generosity..
    Derek was such a sweetheart! and always well mannered and polite..
    His Father Johnny was always nice to all his friends that would come to their house to visit..
    What a wonderful family to know for so long..
    My heart is broken for his father to have lost his only son.
    Derek was a good boy, A talented young man and raised by great Italian family. he grew up to become the same as a man.
    A great loss to the music world and to anyone who was his friend..I add myself to that list.
    I know the doors of heaven opened when he arrived!!..RIP

  67. Scott

    Never knew this person. In 1986 I had a friend from ABQ,NM in college that had the LeMans cassette. I loved it from the first listen, bought my own tape and wore it out. Spent many years looking for LeMans on CD and found it a few years ago. What a great album! Every song is great, why did they not make it big? Reminds me of Cobra’s (w/ Jimi Jamison)album First Strike. It was awesome – I can’t find it on CD.

  68. robby taggart

    as i sit with my own set of problems after long drug use and a great friends death i found myself at a place called liberty house in la i was talking to a guy i live with in the program and we had alot in common and i started to talk about some songs and are favorite band i play the drums and loved guitar he told me he would show me a few things and i told him one of my favorite songs was fly hi michele and he said i wrote the song he told me he had wrote the song about someone he was close to i was like stunned he was a very humble guy and if anyone told me differant i would tell them to look at there self people have problems every one now going on ten years sober im here to tell anyone its not easy and you have to want it and the drama also has to stop around you it makes me sad that besides all of the great people he had around him it just didnt click but true fact he is someone that cant be replaced the guy was amazing and so was his guitar skills it took no effort for him to amaze you and i hope one day i will here him place in are place in heaven…..Robby Taggart

  69. Brian Elvin,Malaysia

    Saddened to hear his death.He’s one of the best guitarist on this planet.LeMans “Chains Around Your Heart” is one of the best Hard Rock song.Anyway,i will always remember him.May He Rest In Peace.

  70. lvisman

    I heard a song on a college station years and years ago…it was an amazing two-handed chordal guitar piece…the dj announced at the end that it was Derek.
    *** I have been looking for this ever since ***
    Anyone know the name of it ?

  71. Scott

    I met Derek back stage at the whale many many moons ago. I was a young guitarist then, 16-17, impressionable, and to echo the many good things said here about him, he was the most down to earth guy. Talented as hell, generous, and made the time and effort to help me out. It’s 2010, and I will never forget those memories, and while I wound up becoming a jazz guitarist, his influence still makes it’s way into my playing. Carrying the torch, and missing my good friend Derek Frigo.

  72. Madeleine ossun

    I was watching Decline of Western Civilization II and thought of Derek. I was sad to see he had passed. I knew him when he was in Lemans. My girlfriend lived with the other guitarist and she and I would style their hair. Derek was so fussy–worried about not having enough hair. His drug use made him unpredictable–would he be cute and nice or a total ass? Then I’d watch him on stage and he’d leave me breathless. Lemans was great and I can’t recall why they didn’t continue on to bigger and better things. Rest in peace sweetie.

  73. Deborah Eborn

    I fell in love with Derek Frigo’s music and guitar playing on the videos of Logan’s Heroes and Enuff Znuff. Then I found out that he had passed away. It makes me so sad. I just want to scream “Why?” I never met him or even heard him play in person. His talent was extraordinary. He will be missed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.