What is there to say about Ron Reckless?
His last name really wasn’t “Reckless” or “Rexless” or “Rxless” as it has been written time after time in print, on records, or represented by the young and old punks who admired him. It was Grotjan. Ronald Grotjan.
Ron died on June 6, 2016 of cancer.
He was a husband to Robin, a loving father to Athena, an animal lover, a friend to many, a band mate to some, a singer, a guitar player, a bit of a malcontent (perhaps this is an understatement, but there was so much joy in there too), a funny motherfucker, a son, and bigger than life.
He gave birth to Godzilla.
Ron was a leader in the Phoenix punk rock scene. So much so, in fact, that he became a legend, even if he never came off like he was anything but one of us. He loved music and was willing to promote other people’s music on his radio show or just by saying a kind word about the creative efforts of others. He loved to talk about music, as well. Good lord, Ron could talk.
Ron’s work in Mighty Sphincter was over the top, outrageous, and also, in many ways, genre-shaping. The classic lineup of Ron, the late, great Joe Albanese on bass, Doug Clark on guitar, and Mr. Wonderful (Greg Hynes) on drums was nothing short of amazing…a true spectacle of sight, sound, smells (sometimes), and complete chaos mixed with utter carnality. To see Ron looming on stage was something to behold, something to marvel at, and something to remember.
As a member of Sphincter or Maybe Mental or The Very Idea of Fucking Hitler, Ron pushed boundaries and ideas at the same time. Ron stood up for what he believed in and would not hesitate to reach out to help someone in need, even if he never asked for any credit in doing so.
We remember Ron with admiration and respect. He was a true original and he was fearless when it came to his art. That’s a pretty awesome thing if you ask us. We celebrate his life and are cranking up his work to 11.
Rest in power, Ron, and rest in peace. Our thoughts are with Ron’s family in this time of transition.
June 7, 2016 (15:32)
May 4, 2018 (10:46)
I am wondering why there is still a mugshot/infirmary photo of Ron still on the net. People who have been released or die, no longer have mugshots up. Also, I find no obituary on an internet search. Please clarify your information.
June 7, 2016 (22:22)
You really honored Ron.
Thank you. He would be humbled to have read this.
We love him and miss him more than words can ever say…
Robin and Athena Grotjan
June 8, 2016 (09:52)
June 9, 2016 (12:05)
Nice work Tom, he was special to all of us, as a high school kid wanting to start a band, he like many of the local AZ bands from that time inspired many of us to go start our own band. my first band we even did our version of Mighty Sphincter as a tribute back in the early 1980’s
Miss Holley King
June 10, 2016 (09:27)
My heart breaks for this family. Ron and Robbin were so sweet, cute & kind back in Art School when I 1st met the couple. I was lucky enough to see them get married. Recently I got to meet and got to know their beautiful daughter, Athena. I wish them all love and grace – much of wich they always shared with me. Gonna miss you Ron “Reckless”. You and your family will always have a place in my heart!- Miss Holley King (aka: Keri from school)
June 12, 2016 (19:15)
Well done sir, well done.
July 3, 2016 (01:39)
just hearin this,RIP Ron. a youngster was telling me of ron making the worst years of his life bearable.PUNKAZFUCK!!!!
July 16, 2016 (04:57)
Really? Charly Barf that would have made him really happy…thanks for sharing that.
-Robin (Ron’s wife)
September 5, 2016 (18:04)
I was just told Ron passed. Was so sorry to hear that. Everything I read here was true. I’ll always remember how good a person he was in such a chaotic scene.
Of all the vynil I have kept, my Mighty Sphincter 45 is my most prized.
January 2, 2018 (22:00)
A friend dragged him home to my apartment one night back in the 80s and he spotted a 45 of MS in my records. He signed it and spelled his name Rexless. I still have it somewhere.
December 15, 2019 (10:10)
Ron put a gun to my head when I was a teenager. Don’t believe everything you read.
October 9, 2021 (09:11)
Like your lying comment. I don’t believe everything I read…
March 23, 2020 (06:26)
Oh man..I lost touch with my friend. My God I’ve lost a nice friend. I was standing in line at the game store by Walmart in Glendale. I hear this female voice behind me reading the back of my shirt,some punk festival.I turned around and flashed a smile and this nice lady( Robin ) said that her husband had played with some of these bands, I said ” oh wow, what’s you’re husbands name? “. Sha told me ” Ron recklass “. Ilost my mind!!! Asked if I could get a hug and how pleased I was to meet him. We had avery new friendship as well as Robin …by the way Robin I still have yours and Ron’s number…I’ll call soon to check on you and Athena. I asked Ron to sign my guitar but I had to run home and grab it…he said sure. He waited and signed it. We were supposed to get together and do some writing and recording. I’m to late…way ???. Bottom line Ron was a true sweetheart,and a true gentleman. J.J.