Rockabilly Musician Chadd Thomas Found Dead In South Austin (UPDATED)

The Austin Police Department released more information in Thomas' investigation Thursday afternoon.

Update (5:18 p.m.): The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE are both reporting that the Travis County Medical Examiner has ruled Thomas' death a homicide from blunt force trauma.

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Chadd Thomas & the Crazy Kings on Facebook
Rumors ran rampant across Facebook last night reporting the death of Austin rockabilly bandleader Chadd Thomas of Chadd Thomas and the Crazy Kings. Thomas originally formed the band in Houston, and was a frequent performer at the Continental Club here. He was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Jessica Vess of Austin's KVUE reported via Twitter this morning that the Austin Police Department has identified a body found Monday morning on South Congress Avenue near Oltorf as Thomas, whose real name was Charles Thomas II.

Austin police were alerted to a body slumped against a fence along South Congress around 7:45 a.m. Monday, KVUE reported. Monday night, Austin rockabilly band (and former Houstonians) the Hotrod Hillbillies posted the following message on their Facebook page:

chadd july7.jpg
We are very Shocked to have learn [sic] that a fellow Rockabilly Musician Chadd Thomas, was found dead this morning in South Austin. Cops are calling it a Homicide. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, daughter, and all the members of The Crazy Kings, especially our brother Dylan Cavalier. We hope answers of his death will come quickly.

Although homicide detectives are involved, Austin police said when they found Thomas' body that determining a cause of death was premature: "Right now, all we have is a deceased person," APD Sgt. Keith Bazzle told KVUE.

Seeking more information, Rocks Off contacted some Houston musicians who were familiar with Thomas. One, who asked not to be named, said Thomas, 38, was struck by a car following an altercation after his band's show at The Crow Bar in Austin Saturday night, and refused his friends' efforts to take him to the hospital. Ed. Note: The Crazy Kings played The Aviary Decor, another South Austin bar, Saturday night, not The Crowbar.

Houston rockabilly promoter Edgar Salazar, known as "Big E," called Thomas a "great friend" and said he is planning a tribute at next weekend's two-day Rock Baby Rock It festival. He did not remember the last time the Crazy Kings played the Continental Club.

Besides the Hotrod Hillbillies, musicians including Scott H. Biram, Back Porch Mary, Houston's 13 Black Coffins and San Antonio venue Sam's Burger Joint posted tributes to Thomas on Twitter. "Miss Melane & 13 Black Coffins will always remember how awesome you were to us," the Coffins said.

Rocks Off will update with more details as they become available.

Chadd Thomas and the Crazy Kings, "Broken Man"


Music Editor Chris Gray contributed to this report.



Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.


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57 comments
For the record...
For the record...

Update Dec. 30, 2011: Austin Police Dept. has reclassified the case from homicide to "undetermined." Quoted from the Austin American-Statesman: "...musician Charles "Chadd" Thomas II, 38, ... was involved in three unrelated altercations in mid-July before his death. ... "Thomas' death was initially deemed a homicide, but on Friday police reclassified the case.Officials said that any of the altercations could have resulted in blunt force trauma that led to his death but that at least one of the incidents was accidental."Because the medical examiner could not determine which incident was fatal, Thomas' death has been ruled "undetermined." Police said other criminal charges, such as aggravated assault, are possible."If people have information, they can call the homicide tip line at 477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 472-8477."

Sabbie703
Sabbie703

BTW, I picked up a Houston press yesterday. I didn't see 1 thing about Chadd.    Are you saying that a Houston Press would have more info than the Statesman?

Sabbie703
Sabbie703

I apologize for saying "snot" (gross). I'm just a really literall/honest person. I can hear Chadd laughing from up above right now!

Sabbie703
Sabbie703

I still can't believe it. He was such a good friend. He helped me when I went through an abusive relationship up there. He let me move in, we went swimming at the apt. pool. We ate dinner together when he didn't have a gig. I drove the van to gig's sometimes,as I did, he would call me a "MILF". I had no idea what that meant. When he told me (laughingly), I almost wrecked the van! We helped each other out for a while finacially and emotionally. I miss him so much! I just told my fiance the other day, it's something that you think about after the fact. I wish I (and my Madison) would have had the time to go up and see him or call him. You never know what will happen. Say I love you/care about you everyday to people that mean alot to you! I hope you are peaceful my friend, I miss you!

Abelsalazar8
Abelsalazar8

Chadd was a pleasure to know you and fill in on drums for you so many years ago. You were a kind soul and will be greatly missed

Sabrina Powell
Sabrina Powell

I can't stop crying when I see my friends face and see that they still haven't found the person/people that killed him. I don't care how many "altercations" he was in that night. Find the responsible party!

Jleet
Jleet

Met Chad once in corpus Christi at dr. Rockits... He was nice enuff to let me take a pic with him. Thanks for that memory Chad!! R.I.P. Bro!...Corpus Christi loves you.....always.

Ty Cobb
Ty Cobb

R.I.P brother man, R.I.P

Vernon Williams
Vernon Williams

Man, that's terrible.  I used to see Chadd and his band a lot back when he was here in Houston, remember when he was a waiter at the Mucky Duck, unfortunately had not seen him in a long time, now will not get to again.

Angie Lester Vasconcellos
Angie Lester Vasconcellos

I booked Chadd Thomas and the Crazy Kings at our Club Nuno's....he was the nicest man with a big heart!! So sad and I pray that a benefit will be very successful for his daughter.RIP ROCKABILLY KING!!!! You will be missed...

Melissaespelien
Melissaespelien

Chadd, I just keep remembering you had the best jokes buddy! I will miss them. The world lost such a great person. You were so friendly to everyone. How could someone hurt someone like you??? I feel so lucky I got to know you briefly and became good friends in passing. I wish there was more of it. I will miss you thank you for being so special to me.

Richrad9
Richrad9

Chadd was a funny dude! he was up on the radio show when I did radio all the time. Lots of funny Chadd stories

Fred
Fred

You need to talk to someone other than "Houston musicians" when trying to report facts about an Austin homicide.  Pick up a phone and confirm comments before posting it. This isn't reporting, this is rumoring.

Miss13bc
Miss13bc

and i never will forget.

Miss Melane aka to Todd "that tall Houston gal"

Charlie
Charlie

 I was thinking how cool it sounded Sat night and am so glad I told him...I will miss you tons, Chadd.  love Charlie.. your number one alltime drummer

Debbie
Debbie

well...........we are talking about doing a benefit  to raise money for his daughter Maddie !!

Boothe_houser
Boothe_houser

Last time I talked to you I gave you my number so you can have just in case you needed a last minute drummer for a showyou had a very gracious and attractive soul by what i took from our few encounters.this troubles me.its unfortunate we cant get together and bust out a number or twelve.safe travels chadd.boothe

Aroessler
Aroessler

They have ruled Thomas' death a homicide. After conducting an autopsy, the medical examiner has determined the cause of death to by blunt force trauma.

Car_dawgs
Car_dawgs

you will be missed Chad , From your friends @ Charlie Maund ! You always made it fun! RIP brother!

Waynes O'Neill
Waynes O'Neill

Rest in peace my friend.  The Tele you sold me will play sweeter than ever from now on.....

Bill
Bill

For his friends and family, I'm sorry for your loss...rest in peace Chadd Thomas.  Blessings.

Ford
Ford

I was sitting at a stop sign with chadd in san antonio in about 1998 both of us hammered out of our minds and after about 30 seconds he looked at me and said it's a stop sign not a stop light it isn't going to turn green-i drove forward. i met him around 1992 he was stoked on rockabilly and so was I. he kept the scene alive in houston for about 10 years DJ'd and hosted rockabilly nights at Blue Iguana etc, and then moved to austin. I haven't seem him in a long time. I know he dedicated his music to his deceased father and I heard he had a daughter some time ago. I think he knew what love was. Maybe him and his Dad are cruising the blue and grey '55 up in heaven. Later Chadd T   

Debbie
Debbie

I don't remember who's comment I saw it on...but one of his friends (who supposedly was there)  said he was beaten to death and that is why I wrote that........ I, too.....just want to know what happened to our friend........ my thoughts and prayers go out to his mom, daughter, family and friends.....

Elireddoch
Elireddoch

R.i.p. Chadd. A great guy , always smiling! You will be missed.

TashaS
TashaS

Thanks for all the times you let me crash at your pad after leaving emos in the trose. RIP

Ricolocohb
Ricolocohb

I had Chadd as a football player in Junior High my first year teaching.  He came back around in the 90's to DJ my Rockabilly nights at the Blue Iguana, as well as learn his chops in the then brand new Crazy Kings.  This makes me feel old and tired.  Smith, keep me posted if there is a  Houston Funeral or Memorial for him.  He could be a handful, but God it's hard when you first knew someone when they were just a kid.  Peace to his loved ones.

Sarast
Sarast

Nobody knows what happened. Stop jumping to conclusions over hearsay from facebook rumors that he was "beaten to death" and quit trying lay blame on people because you are grieving, if you weren't there you have absolutely no way in hell of knowing what exactly happened, so until a statement is released OFFICIALLY stating the cause of death, keep your mouth shut and your imagination from running wild. Acting like a bunch of damn middle school kids running your mouth to everyone about every rumor you read or hear. RIP Chadd<3

Caroline Casey
Caroline Casey

This seems weird. That person probably doesn't know the whole story so he doesn't want to give his name. 

I saw Chadd on Saturday night and he did not play the Crow Bar, he played at Aviary Decor on S. Lamar. I know, I was there and rocking out. I'm playing there tomorrow, in fact, and our show is now dedicated to Chadd's memory.

They stayed late, because I saw him after their show. I mean maybe he went to the Crow Bar afterward for a nightcap (and yeah, Chadd was drunk, whatever), but I know they didn't play there that night.

SaraT
SaraT

send chadd stories to chaddstory@yahoo.com for publication in his biography. thanks, deann thomas, chadd's sister

SaraT
SaraT

send your chadd stories to chaddstory@yahoo.com for publication in his biography. thanks, deann thomas, his sister.

Meredith
Meredith

Worked with chadd at guitar center. Always knowledgeable and friendly guy. I always enjoyed working on the days chaff was there !

SaraT
SaraT

send chadd stories to chaddstory@yahoo.com for publication in his biography. thanks, his sister, Deann

wms
wms

Fred: those Houston musicians were in touch with Austin musicians. 

Boothe
Boothe

i would be delighted to be kept informed.ill keep my eyes peeled.

For the record...
For the record...

According to whom, and as of when, Aroessler?

As Fred posted five hours after you, beware of commenting from afar. Many of us CT fans who are 78704ites are following this story closely, blocks away. As per my monitoring of this story until midnight Tuesday, no homicide has been declared as of now by the Travis County Medical Examiner, six hours after you posted. The Travis Co. ME is the cognizant authority.

SaraT
SaraT

we, Chadd's sister and mother, are collecting chadd stories for a biography, and would love for you to submit this and any others you have to be included with or without pictures. Please submit to email address: chaddstory@yahoo.com  THis will be greatly appreciated. thank you and we look forward to meeting all those that submit stories at the release party! Thanks! Deann Thomas

Sarast
Sarast

If one of his "friends" was "supposedly" there saw with his/her own eyes Chadd get "beaten to death" why did they A. Not stop what was going on or B. Report it to authorities? Because it didn't happen. His body was found by police, not reported by a "friend" who witnessed him die. I'm just tired of reading people on facebook call this a murder, when noone knows yet what happened, and rather than just forming their own opinions and feelings they are sharing them with others fueling the fire and keeping the rumor mill going. It's one thing to be upset and concerned and quite another to gossip about what you've read on facebook.

Jason
Jason

Thank you! I'm tired of seeing this as well. We all want to know what happen but we need to be patient and focus our thoughts on his family.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

I don't see anywhere in the story or the comments where it says he was "beaten to death."

78704
78704

As per Mike Densley, co-owner of Crow Bar, and my own certain recollection, Chadd did not visit or play at Crow Bar either Saturday or Sunday nights. I certainly would have recognized Chadd, being a neighbor, fan, and fellow Sun Harvest shopper. Not only that, Crow Bar is not considered a live music venue. Therefore, it's a mystery why Crow Bar was even mentioned in the inaccurate account regarding an "altercation" and a car-Chadd collision, direct from the Press' single, unattributed source. (Editor? Hello?)

Kmbrly429
Kmbrly429

Hopefully you let police know that!

rocksoffsr
rocksoffsr

Thanks for clarifying that, Caroline. 

Tool
Tool

Could of been crackers....

wms
wms

jeez, learn to read pls. this [Why does someone want to remain unknown when giving this kind of info ? Are you in danger, or covering for the person who was driving the car or the person who beat Chadd to death ?] was in Debbie's very first comment earlier. She didn't say she knew one way or the other what the circumstances were, she seems to be speculating on why our source asked not to be named. nowhere has anyone from Houston Press said anything about being "beaten to death."

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Update: death ruled homicide by blunt force trauma.

Sarast
Sarast

Really? Please re read "Debbie's" comment then.

wms
wms

Well, now that the medical examiner has ruled death by blunt force, it's a moot issue.

Sarast
Sarast

Never said anyone from the Houston Press did. And. Yes. She said are you trying to cover for the person driving the car? Or the person that beat Chadd to death? Implying that he was beaten to death..... Don't really see how anyone could misread that..

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