Don “Dynomite” Messina was the guitarist and singer of the renowned Brethren Fast for the past two decades. He died on August 16, at the age of 47, after a car accident on Lookout Mountain.
This Sunday, eight bands will play a
Gardner says the event will “focus on Don’s contribution to the Denver local music scene and get everybody together for a good time.”
And having fun was essentially what Brethren Fast was all about from the get-go.
“Brethren Fast was always just a good time,” says Barber. “Showing up, ready to do it. They just loved to play every chance they got.”
When brothers Don and Mik Messina formed the band more than twenty years ago, they picked their moniker because, well, they were brothers and they liked fast cars, fast
“People in town thought Brethren Fast was rockabilly,” says Barber, “but they played all kinds of kinds of funk. It was weird, because they had
It didn’t take long for thr group to catch on around the state and around the country, getting sponsorships from Budweiser,
But while Brethren Fast became a legendary act around town, the fame didn’t necessarily go to Messina’s head.
“Even though they were becoming rock stars, that never went to his head,” Schmaltz says of Don. “As far as my experience went, we were still buddies. It was never like, ‘Well, I’m too cool for you now because look at me.’ He never took on that attitude. It was always, ‘We’re a working band,’ and they really set forth a fantastic example as far as work ethic goes.”
Schmaltz adds that Messina was always very warm and
Don Messina with his wife, Michelle, and daughter Nona.
Messina’s wife, Michelle, whom he married a decade ago at the Graceland Chapel in Las Vegas, says he was funny but also had a very soft side.
“He was just a kind soul,” she says. “He cared a lot about people. He’s the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back at
Schmaltz remembers the smile that Messina’s would sport when he was on stage.
“He always had a smile where you got the idea that he knew something that you didn’t,” says Schmaltz, “not that he was hiding it from
“He was definitely attuned to something that was making him happy. As somebody who was inspired by them, I was like, ‘Wow, I want to know what’s it’s like to have that automatic — I wouldn’t call it a smirk, but that little grin to where you’re like, ‘Yeah, man, there’s more to meets the eye that’s going here, probably because I’m being truly fulfilled by what I’m doing. It’s not like I’m
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Mik Messina, who declined to comment at this time, said he plans to organize another event in the future, with fifteen to twenty bands, to celebrate his brother's life.
Michelle says Don was a huge dog lover.