It’s with great sadness that I report that my former mentor and friend, Brenda Mullen, has died. Brenda—born Brenda L. Lawson, and known more recently as Brenda Mintie—was laid to rest on November 7, 2019, according to a news item. She was 55-years-old.
Brenda’s passing was not immediately known amongst her music scene friends until this week.
Brenda was the co-founder (with Trent Weller), publisher, editor and catalyst behind U.S. Rocker magazine. During the 1990s, U.S. Rocker was Ohio’s largest-circulation underground rock, noise and metal free publication, with 10,000 copies distributed around Northeast Ohio each month. The magazine ceased publication after a decade in late 1998.
With U.S. Rocker, Brenda boosted the careers of countless underground bands, artists, writers and photographers.
More about Brenda’s passing from Wooster, Ohio’s Daily Record:
Brenda L. Mintie, age 55, of Wooster, entered into rest on Thursday, November 7th, 2019 in Cleveland following a short illness.
She was born on January 11, 1964 in New Brunswick, N.J. She had moved from Indianapolis, IN to the Wooster area in 1969. Brenda had previously attended Wooster Beauty College; was a writer for and owner of the “U.S. Rocker” an alternative music newspaper during the 1990′s. Brenda also enjoyed playing the piano, organ, and keyboard. Music was a great part of her life as it was her families [sic].
In addition to her father, Lynn B. Lawson, and her mother, Sally Welsh (Curt E.) Abbott of Wooster, she is survived by a son, Dustin L. Mullen and a brother, Brian (Sheila) Lawson all of Wooster; and her faithful canine companion, “Loki”.
It was her previous wishes [sic], there will be no public services and a private celebration of her life will take place at the convenience of the family at a later date.
I heard about Brenda’s death, like a lot of her old friends, only yesterday. It’s baffling that the news took so long to get around. I haven’t fully processed things to be honest.
Here’s a photo and coverage of Brenda and U.S. Rocker from the Cleveland Plain Dealer (image by longtime USR photographer, Karen Novak):
Brenda was full of energy and fun and mischief. She publicized hard-rocking, cutting-edge Northeast Ohio bands like Craw, Boulder, Cobra Verde, Spudmonsters, Biblical Proof of UFOs, Duvalby Bros. and many more at a time when no other media was paying attention.
Brenda also turned the spotlight on underground visual artists, most famously Derek Hess who created numerous U.S. Rocker covers. Other cover artists include local luminaries such as: Clay Parker, Scott Pickering, Dave Cintron, Timmie Boose, Jake Kelly and Stephen Kasner, who also passed at the end of 2019.
Some of Brenda’s old friends, spearheaded by Trent Weller, are discussing a memorial for a date sometime post-Covid crisis. I support such efforts, and I compiled “the best of Brenda”—click below:
In the meantime, I am sending my deepest condolences to Brenda’s family, who were always lovely to me, and to her vast network of friends.
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