Longtime HELIX Drummer GREG 'FRITZ' HINZ Dead At 68

February 16, 2024

Longtime HELIX drummer Greg "Fritz" Hinz has died after a nearly year-long battle with cancer. He was 68 years old.

Hinz joined HELIX in 1982 and stayed in the band until 1996, before returning to the group 13 years later.

Earlier today (Friday, February 16),HELIX frontman Brian Vollmer posted the following message on social media: "Greg 'Fritz' Hinz: January 23rd/1956-February 16th/2024. R.I.P.

"It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the passing of Greg 'Fritz' Hinz, drummer for HELIX since 1983, after a 10 months fighting Cancer.

"At a future date there will be a Memorial Service. Traci (Fritz's common law wife) hasn't slept in six months, so I'm going to give her a couple of days. She's been an ANGEL throughout this whole ordeal. I don't know what Fritz would have done without her. Right now I'm respecting HER wishes. This is NOT up for debate. She's cared for Fritz since he found out he had Cancer last April. She has the right to do whatever-and whenever-she wants. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT TRACI-GIVE HER SPACE AND LET HER HEAL. When she wants to talk to everyone she will.

"Fritz was like a brother to myself, Brent, Kenny, and many other people who worked for the band.

"Traci has asked me to write something to post. I could go on for hours about the guy, but right now I'm devastated, as are the other guys in the band. We've known about this since last April, but were unable to tell anyone, at Fritz's request. He wanted his privacy through this. He was a proud guy and tough as f**k.

"When he fell off the ladder a couple of years ago and nearly died, I thought that was the end there. Fritz surprised everyone by coming back less than 8 months later for gigs in Vancouver & Calgary in one weekend. This meant lots of driving and flying-something that's extremely bad for someone who has suffered a major concussion. He played great that weekend and didn't complain. Many months later he told me that at the end of the Vancouver show at the Hard Rock, he nearly stood up and fell forward through his drums at the end of the show 'cos he had vertigo so bad. Like I said, 'One tough guy.'

"I met Fritz way back around the late 70's when he played for the Cambridge based hard rock band STARCHILD. We both used to laugh over the fact that's Fritz's big part on the STARCHILD record 'Children of the Stars' was in the song Johnny Groover. The line in the song went '...here comes Johnny Groover in his Vet-he's got to get it wet…' to which Fritz would then add a squirting sound: Pht-t-t–t–t-h!...'

"Fritz was the funniest guy you'd ever want to meet. We could be in the seriousest of situations and he could say something and everyone would burst out laughing. He had that kind of personality everyone wanted to be around. Add to that his ability to attract scores of women at our gigs. Fritz was HELIX's 'David Lee Roth.' The most frequent question asked by girls outside the buses on the QUIET RIOT/WHITESNAKE Tour in 1984 was, 'Do you know where your drummer is???' As a result, Fritz was frequently in 'movies' as he called them. This meant that one of his relationships had gone sideways and was becoming a soap opera. The funny thing was that no matter how much he would piss off the girl, they would always forgive him, come back, and shower him with gifts.

"Fritz was the consummate rock drummer: It was his craft. He prided himself in his playing, and well he should have. He had a style all his own. Check out the bridge to the chorus in Heavy Metal Love. Such a simple lick-playing on the off time, but Fritz learned that playing his first instrument-the accordion-in an 'oom-pah-pah' band.

"Over the next couple of days I'll be putting up pics (as I'm sure hundreds of other people will) some video, and even Super 8. Here's the first batch of stuff I've found. There's so much.

"Fritz joined the band in 1983. This means that he's been in the band for over 40 years, with the exception of when he moved to Florida for a couple of years.

"The world has lost one of it's GREAT rock drummers. As I was telling Jamie on the phone today: The public has no idea the sacrifices that musicians make for their craft. You think of the music business as be a fairly low-impact kind of job. In reality, you give up your personal life, your financial life, any type of regularity in your life, and…not to mention the physical scars. I've yet to meet a drummer who hasn't ripped his rotator cuff. Guys with guitars and basses-ditto. We've stayed in the coldest rooms, the hottest rooms, gone without sleep, and made shit money. All for this thing called 'making music.' Fritz definitely did that. He loved his drums and he loved drumming and performing. He took great pride in everything he did. I'm going to miss him so much.

"My heart is breaking now. Gotta go."

HELIX is one of the most successful Canadian rock bands, especially after the release of 1984's "Walkin' The Razor's Edge" album, which sold more than 100,000 copies in Canada, and more than 400,000 internationally.

HELIX has shared the stage with some of the world's best hard rock and heavy metal bands, including KISS, AEROSMITH, RUSH, MÖTLEY CRÜE, ALICE COOPER, WHITESNAKE, HEART, QUIET RIOT and MOTÖRHEAD.

HELIX has released 14 studio albums, including its latest, "Old School", which came out in 2019.

Posted by Helix The Band on Friday, February 16, 2024

Find more on Helix
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).