Nelsonville - Robert Heady passed away on Saturday, August 21, 2021. Rock and Roll's 4th best all-time drummer has ascended to Rock and Roll Heaven. Ranked only behind Neil Peart, John Bonham, and Charlie Watts, and tied with Ringo Starr and Bun E. Carlos, Rob was known for his heavy and steady beat, as well as his versatility. He was 64.
Born in Sheltering Arms Hospital in Athens on Dec. 21, 1956, Rob was the second son and third child of Vera and James Robert Heady. Rob was a curious and rambunctious child; he walked and talked earlier than his siblings, and the drum kit Bob and Vera got for him around the age of six set his life's path.
Rob was a 1975 graduate of Athens High School. Second in the family athletic ability to his sister, Susan, Rob excelled at Butt Barrel Football and Ice Hockey. Rob was one of those guys that whooshed by you at Bird Arena. Rob was involved with several bands and jamming partners during this time as well. The din emanating from his childhood home at 62 Sunnyside Drive let the east side of Athens know that Rock and Roll was here to stay; culminating in that parent's nightmare, "Phlegm and the Dukes". Rob also worked throughout his teen years, including stints at Miller's Chicken and Burr Oak Lodge. He wrote funny and memorable album reviews for Athens High's newspaper, The Matrix.
After high school, Rob briefly attended Ohio University, but he decided to pursue his dreams of Rock and Roll and female companionship. Rob was a fixture of the Athens uptown scene in the mid to late '70s, during which time he joined with Bill Whitlatch and Steve Smart to form one of Southeast Ohio's legendary power trios, "Heathen". After this, he moved to Columbus, where he joined the band "Macbeth". After Macbeth, Rob played and toured across the country with "The Steve Yates Band", and then moving onto "Data Base". These two latter bands showed Rob's adaptability and versatility in playing songs that spanned the genres of Pop, Rock, Country, Disco, and Funk.
Marriage and fatherhood settled Rob down in the mid-'80s, and the drums went into storage.
Rob's greatest accomplishment was fatherhood, and he and his son, James Robert Joseph Heady, forged a bond that death can not break.
In 1989, Rob answered a tryout request from the fabled Heavy Metal band, "Blitzkrieg", and it was here that Rob found not only a band but a brotherhood. Phil Moon, Lyle Moon, and Ed Sisson clicked immediately, and they made a joyous noise for 30 years. Rob is now gone from us, but he leaves behind family, friends, and an unmatched fan base that knew Rob valued and cared for them all.
Rob is survived by his son, James Robert Joseph Heady of Athens; brothers, Samuel Curtis (Rebecca) Heady of Union and James Heady of Nelsonville, and sister Susan Lynn (Steve) Shafer of Nelsonville. Rob is also survived by several aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. One of Rob's former wives, Leah Davis, of Pomona, Illinois, was instrumental in providing Rob with loving care during his final journey. Their marriage did not last, but their promises to each other were kept.
Rob loved deeply and passionately, and he received it back on a huge and wonderful scale, as so many that he knew and touched took care of him and made him know he was so loved and valued. A partial list follows: Greg Hanning and his son, Dutch Rutter; Rob's neighbor and security system; Steve and Susan Shafer, who took Rob to every appointment and treatment and were constant sources of hope for Rob; Peggy Sisson, RN, who helped Leah with Rob and gave him great care; Nurses Shane and Heather, of Shriver's Hospice, gave Rob as much comfort and dignity as they could as Rob slowly, and then with swift suddenness, lost his heroic struggle against pancreatic cancer; Rhonda and Lyle Moon, who organized a benefit for Rob, all who helped and attended the benefit, it gave Rob his last and fitting encore, and his last time behind the drums.
Thanks also to Shannon Wollenberg, Rob's boss at his place of employment for over 20 years, Rent-2-Own. Shannon started a GoFundMe page for Rob to help with his financial situation. The owner of Rent-2-Own, Mike Tissot, was a constant in Rob's life, especially during his sickness. People like Shannon and Mike let you know how companies should be operated.
We love you, Pard, and we're glad you're safe and free. Good night, Sweet Prince!
Arrangements are by Hughes Moquin Funeral Home where you may send the family a message of sympathy or sign the online guestbook at www.hughesmoquinfuneralhome.com. Robert Heady