A staple of the Bay Area music scene has died at 41 after a car accident

Joe Heiner, a fixture on the Bay Area music scene and fiance of garage rock icon Shannon Shaw, died early Tuesday after being hit by a truck just outside his family’s farm in Aurora, Orera. He was 41 years old.

Shaw, who planned to marry Hayner in her hometown of Napa later this year, confirmed her death in an Instagram post Wednesday morning.

“I can’t believe I’m typing this but my sweet Joe has passed. Please send all the love and support you can to the Heiner family, who I’ll be joining in November,” Shaw wrote. “The last two days of our lives were the best ever. He got to play music with Toody [Cole, the last surviving member of the legendary Portland punk band Dead Moon.] His whole family came to watch him play the drums! He consoled me with various things and we planned the wedding and honeymoon. Last week he just got this big gorgeous smile because he was thinking about the drums and how good and freeing it felt to play them. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

Heiner was driving a Ford F-150 southbound on Allen Road near Donald, Ore., and attempted to turn left into his driveway when his vehicle was struck by another eastbound truck. Emergency responders arrived at the scene of the crash at 6:45 a.m. and Hayner was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died from his injuries, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office told multiple outlets.

Joe Heiner at Topaz Farm in Portland, Oregon on August 11, 2022.

Donated by Noelle Fiore

Hayner was born on January 1, 1981 in Portland, Ore. He attended La Salle High School in Milwaukee and later attended the University of Oregon before moving to the Bay Area and becoming a staple of Oakland’s DIY music scene. Heiner was the drummer for psychedelic rock group Gris Gris and touring percussionist following the release of Dodos’ 2008 album “Visitor”. Cody Blanchard, guitarist and vocalist for Shannon and the Clums, told SFGATE that Hayner started playing drums when he was in fifth grade, developing his style early on by playing along to James Brown records.

“His parents let him set up a kit in the living room on the far side of the house and let him hang out as long as he wanted, no matter who else was home or how loud it was,” Blanchard said in an email.

Haener was part of several bands that helped cultivate the Bay Area’s thriving DIY scene from early to late, including the post-hardcore band Battleship, as well as Blanche Devereaux, Case Studies, Dream Date, Eatskull and Little Queenie. Before joining Gris Gris, he played in the rock ‘n’ roll adventure kids with Mark Reebok, who now runs Bay Area punk fests Mosswood Meltdown and Thie Stork Club, and Oscar Michel, co-founder of Tacos Oscar in Oakland and a longtime friend and bandmate who played with Henner and Shaco. The marriage was to be overseen.

“We obviously played a lot of shows in the Bay. Too many to remember,” Michel said in an email to SFGATE. “We had a wonderful two nights at Bimbo’s [365 Club] Opening for the YYYs at Gris Gris … we loved playing at the Hemlock Tavern (RIP) among all the bands we were together. The Stork Club was also a favorite.

Among the most memorable shows Michelle played with Hayner was Gris Gris’ last gig in 2009 at West Oakland’s now-closed Ghost Town Gallery.

“A live recording was done. The room was packed, packed with sketches, but it was a magical night,” he said.

Michelle also had fond memories of a surprise Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventure Kids reunion show last December. When the punk band got together for a rehearsal before the gig, they hadn’t practiced together in nearly a decade, but it was like time had flown by, he said.

“We caught up, had a blast remembering and realized we didn’t need to rehearse because the songs were so easy and stuck inside us,” he said. “The show itself was a fun, boozy blur.”

Shannon Shaw and Joe Heiner at the ShellRacer Festival in Ely, Nevada in June 2022.

Shannon Shaw and Joe Heiner at the ShellRacer Festival in Ely, Nevada in June 2022.

Donated by Jose Boyer

Blanchard said the band’s performance at Mosswood Meltdown last month was Henner’s last show in the Bay Area. After she and Shaw began dating, the musician, who often filled in on drums for the band, also played at Shannon and the Clams’ pre-festival show at Ely’s Mile High Club, which was emceed by John Waters, and at Theo Stork’s festival. Revival of the club. At one point during the performance, Shaw turned to introduce her backup singers, the Donettes, as well as each member of her seven-piece band. When she mentioned that she would marry the drummer later that year, the audience erupted into the loudest cheers of the night.

“Joe and Shannon had a long-distance relationship early on and he would often go on tour to join Clam in the van so he could be with Shannon,” Blanchard told SFGATE. “He became a fixture in our lives, an ever-present family member of the band.”

Blanchard said Hayner and Shaw “circulated each other in the Bay Area music scene for years” before they had a serendipitous encounter at a Starbucks in Oregon about six years ago. Hayner had moved from California to Aurora to work on his family’s farm, and Shaw was in the middle of a tour with his band, to play a friend’s wedding in rural Oregon.

On that particular rainy October morning, the band made a pit stop at a coffee shop, where Heiner met Shaw and asked if she remembered him from the Bay Area.

“She certainly did, and that chance meeting crystallized their interest in each other and set in motion events that led to their romance, marriage and eventual engagement,” Blanchard said.

In an Instagram statement shared by Shannon and Clums on Saturday, the band said that in light of this incredible loss, they will take some time off and cancel their upcoming appearances at the Purple City Music Festival in Canada and the Nelsonville Music Festival in Ohio.

“We are heartbroken,” the statement read. “We will update you as soon as we have clarity on future dates beyond those and appreciate your sympathy and understanding as we navigate such a painful time for our band.”

At his death, Hayner’s family described him as “a passionate collector of vinyl” and “a true audiophile” who often labored to create mixtapes for loved ones. He was a diehard Portland Trail Blazers fan, loved cooking and baking and “despite his quiet demeanor, was super competitive on game night.”

Hayner is survived by his mother and father, Delbert and Nanette, four siblings, Malinda, Danny, Sarah and Beth, and his grandmother, Beverly, as well as seven nieces and nephews. Blanchard said a funeral will be held Tuesday at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Woodburn, Ore.

“He was incredibly sweet, non-judgmental, rarely had an unkind word to say about anyone,” Blanchard said. “He was fiercely loyal to friends and remembered everyone, always happy to rekindle old friendships with people he had lost touch with over the years. He loved Shannon very much and planned to spend the rest of his life with her.

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