Ex-Autograph drummer Keni Richards murdered — homicide investigation pending
The Autograph band members were interviewed by Jay Oakley for Shockwave Magazine at the M3 Rock Festival that took place on April 27 and 28, 2017.
Autograph guitarist Steve Lynch was asked to speak about former drummer Keni Richards who passed away back on April 8, 2017. Lynch stated: “He was crazy as hell but he was a good guy at heart, really good guy at heart and he was great on those first three albums (Sign In Please, That’s The Stuff, Loud And Clear) and then he actually left the latter part of the original Autograph to play with Dirty White Boy, then we got a different drummer, Eddie Cross, and we continued to record because our RCA deal was up and we were getting ready to record a three album deal with Epic Records but then the grunge-thing came along and happened and everything went from happy to depression and suicide and heroin. [Laughs] We weren’t ready to commit suicide yet and so, we decided to bail out of the business for a while. But, Keni had lived out in the desert for a while and went through a lot of different problems with different substance abuse and everything and that was unfortunate. He got mixed up with the wrong kind of people and something happened there, it’s a homicide investigation actually…. All I can say is it’s a homicide investigation and I really don’t know much more then that. But, of course, when you’re dealing with that kind of people and people are doing heroin and meth and all that, they’re not saints. Let’s put it that way.”
Current Autograph singer Simon Daniels and drummer Marc Weiland were asked by Oakley whether they had ever met Richards or had a relationship with him. Daniels stated: “I did because, for a couple of months, he recruited me and we talked and he was a person and then all of a sudden, from night to day, he just switched to a person I didn’t quite recognize any more and just started making no sense. It was sad because, to me, nothing made any sense but we went from really good friends to enemies. Then, I just stayed away from it.” Lynch went on to add: “There’s one word that can sum that whole thing up and that’s “drugs.””
You can read the rest of the interview at Shockwave Magazine.
Sleaze Roxx spoke today to Dean, who was one of Richards‘ close friends during the last few years of his life. Dean stated as follows about Richards and the last few days prior to his death: “I had been friends with Keni Richards for few years. In the last year [prior to Richards‘ death], we talked all the time. He was working on a book and painting. He was falling on hard times and needed some help. I was there for him. He left me some disturbing messages that people were watching him and I told him he needed to call the police but he would not do that. So he just lived on the edge but he was very worried because he said people were breaking into his home.
I was trying to get him to move out here in Louisiana were I live. I had a drum kit that I was going to give him and he was trying to get back into playing. After we talked, four days went by that I did not heard from him. I was worried so kept calling him — no answer. Later that night, I got a call saying that he was found shot in his home and had passed away. I could not believe it. When I found out about his death, I contacted his [former] band member Steve Lynch who has been a great friend to me and staying in touch. Steve [Lynch] and Simon Daniels have been great and I wish them all the best.
Keni was a great guy. He was dealing with depression. He was going to come out here and move, and you know, this happened and there are no answers. Keni wanted me to post something on Facebook and I never did. He wanted to know if the fans really cared about him and loved him. He said that he didn’t really think that he made a difference in people’s lives. He was struggling with that and wanted me to find out how many people really cared about him and what he meant to them. He shared with me some great stories about the Motley Crue tour and David Lee Roth, and you know, he had done a lot of things after Autograph.
I miss my friend all the time. I have so many messages [from him that] I still listen to today. I pray every day that they will find the people who did this. He was doing a painting for me before this happened. Miss you Keni! R.I.P. my friend. Much love to you and your family.”