The beautiful Julie.... RIP honey you will be missed so much!
I found out yesterday that Julie Hecker, the wonderful leader of the Motor City Rah Rahs had died suddenly of a massive heart attack. It was such a shock she was in fantastic shape and the owner of Punk Fitness Detroit.
I first saw the Rah Rahs at the People's Art Festival last summer when Machinegun Thompson and I went to film interviews with Johnny Bee Badanjek, Leni Sinclair and Gary Grimshaw. As I was walking by the huge stage Circus Boy was playing and here were these sparkling girls dancing behind them with foil pom poms! I wanted one so bad! They really made that band pop!
As I began shooting and interviewing more and more around the Detroit area I began seeing the Rahs at a lot of these events. I have to tell you that these girls made shooting these events so much more fun for me! Not to say that I was bored watching lots of men rocking and rolling but these girls really livened up the room with their happy energy and sparkle. Susie Forkin called to tell me about Julie and she was inconsolable and my heart goes out to the girls and Julie's husband and family. Here is a really nice write up from the FREEP Memorial Service for Julie, Tuesday, July 6th at 11:00 @ Guardian Angel Church @ 581 E. 14 Mile Road, Clawson. Visitation starts @ 10:00. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Bob Hecker Family. Funeral Expense Contributions via Paypal HERE From the Detroit Free Press: Julie Hecker, a popular figure best known for her work with the Motor City Rah-Rahs and Punk Fitness sessions, died abruptly Wednesday evening of a suspected massive heart attack. Hecker, 44, was a vivacious personality who bridged her own love of dance and exercise with the city’s gritty rock scene. It was an unorthodox combination that often found her with hula hoops and bright sportswear leading crowds of leather-clad rockers through energetic dance routines. “Anyone who has that energy is like a pied piper,” said Vinnie Dombroski of the bands Sponge and the Orbitsuns. “She had that spark, and people wanted to see what the spark was about. She knitted the whole scene together. That’s why so many people are shocked and just sick over this.” Word of Hecker’s death spread quickly through Detroit rock channels late Wednesday. Hecker and her husband, Orbitsuns bassist Bob Hecker, had been at a friend’s Redford home when she suddenly collapsed. Paramedics later said she had died on the spot. A mom, community volunteer and self-employed exercise instructor, Hecker once spent several days being shadowed by a TLC network crew for a proposed reality show titled “Extreme Parenting.” Her Punk Fitness sessions at local clubs such as the Belmont and the Magic Stick were big draws during the past decade, often attracting capacity crowds for cardio workouts to the beat of classic bands — “slam dancing to the Ramones and hula hooping to the B52s,” as one Facebook friend wrote Thursday. Hecker often emphasized local music in the sets. Karen (Queen Bee) Neal became fast friends with Hecker after attending a Punk Fitness session in 2005. “To walk into a room full of people running and jumping around to an Angry Red Planet song — I knew I was in the right place,” said Neal. Hecker and Neal worked together in the Motor City Rah-Rahs, which began as a fishnets-clad cheerleading troupe for the Detroit Derby Girls roller derby team and came to be a frequent sight at local band gigs, often onstage. The two were tapped as backup dancers for a show last year by visiting glam star Peaches. “I never worked with someone so selfless and willing to be a team player,” Neal said. “She was just so supportive of everybody, and she could motivate anyone. She had a way of bringing people together to celebrate. “Julie was very nurturing — she took care of everybody and everything.” Friends plan to set up an online account for donations to defray funeral expenses. Arrangements have not yet been set. Details will be posted at http://punkfitnessdetroit.com/. In addition to her husband, Hecker is survived by her son, Andrew, 17, and her daughter, Zoe, 9. BRIAN McCOLLUM: 313-223-4450 or firstname.lastname@example.org Vivian George: A song for Julie