1/27/11 Henrik Ostergaard, lead Singer for the band Dirty Looks and current FnA Recording Artist, passed away this morning, Thursday January 27th, 2011 at 9:18 a.m. of natural causes while under hospice care.
The rock world will sadly mourn the loss of this 80's hard rocker. Ostergaard, who was of Danish descent, lived in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1985, Henrik started the band Dirty Looks. Three independent albums and an EP would soon follow, which led to Dirty Looks getting signed by Atlantic Records. Later in Henrik's career, he would be signed to Sony Records and most recently FnA Records where he released a new album, I.C.U., in 2010.
Ostergaard is survived by his 2 children Henrik Jr. and Elliot.
Any current or former band members or fans who would like to have their condolences, thoughts or reflections on Henrik posted, please send to 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
"I'm deeply saddened by the news of Henrik's passing. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to work with and share some significant achievements with Henrik.
He is and will certainly always be in my thoughts and close to my heart. So, my deepest respect to Henrik as a friend, father, husband and one of the best rock 'n roll singers that ever was.
- Jack Pyers"
"I was very sad to learn that Henrik has passed away. He was a good friend and
a great talent. He'll always be remembered as one of the best. I'm glad to have
been given the opportunity to make music with him for many years.
"Henrik was one of the most interesting and charismatic people I’ve ever met. Besides possessing one of the greatest Rock and Roll voices ever, he was also a clever song writer with an ear for perfection. After nearly 15 years, I received a surprise phone call from him in 2009. I’m grateful I had the chance to speak with him one last time. I’m my opinion Henrik never achieved the level of success he truly deserved. We owe a great debt to Kevin and this web site for keeping the legacy alive for those of us who got it. Henrik's talent and unique perspective on life will be missed.
-Mike Ondrusek (Rumbledog)"
"It's sad to see another musician of our generation has passed away. Henrik and I spent some time together during the first year of The Four Horsemen's existence (1988). Dimwit and I were living in Manhattan and Henrik came down to some crappy rehearsal place on 30th street to jam with us a few times.He shredded the paint off the walls in true Brian Johnson style, and we all smoked far too many cigarettes for our own good. We worked on a song called Turn Of The Screw - I still have a cassette of it somewhere. He was signed to Atlantic records. We were waiting for Frank C. Starr to get out of jail. Shortly thereafter, Dimwit and I went out west. Henrik and I never saw each other again. Now - much later - you realize how much you took for granted. Your youth and the good times most of all. RIP Henrik my rock'n'roll brother.
Haggis - The Four Horsemen"
"My sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to Henrik's family, the band, and all his fans. He will certainly be missed, but the fantastic legacy of music he left us will live on forever. RIP Henrik -- See you on the other side!
"Fishing....Henrik love to go fishing.... I worked with Dirty Looks in the 80's starting off with merchandising.... my dear friend Henrik who I had the honor and privilege of knowing and sharing the road with...May your soul soar..onward and upward to higher realms.....Bon Scott is waiting for YOU....?BBXXMB?....I remember....being down in DC somewhere...we were playing a club just a ways out of the city and we just did a sound check.....Henrik was writing the song...."Why Me" and I helped him with a few words here and there....he was writing this song on the back of a paper bag that I had just brought hoagies in for all of us on...he wrote songs on everything and anything...bits of paper...naphins...the back of a pizza box....paper bages...candy wrappers...good times....I remember another time we were playing Swizzles in Harrisburg and Henrik tried to dry his socks in the microwave where we were staying....they were RED socks..he was always kind and made sure that after a job I got to wherever I needed to safely.... then there was the Scorpion in State College...where we always shot pool downstairs before a show.... I was in charge of getting Henrik his alkiaseltizer before the shows to calm the stomach down.....Just some random intimate thoughts of the uniqueness of a fantastic songwriter/frontman...called Henrik...my friend.
"As a former DJ at Gannon University's WERG Heavy Metal show in Erie, PA from 85 and 86, I had honor of meeting Henrik several times. Dirty Looks played a benefit for WERG to purchase Albums and they rocked. I also had the opportunity to interview him on the radio and a local cable access show. He was a very talented artist. I used to do a Battle of The Bands and Dirty Looks won against bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, among others.
I am shocked and sadden by his passing and will miss the music that he and his band produced. He will be missed. RIP
"It is with great sadness today that we have learned of the death of one of rocks great disciples, Dirty Looks and Rumble Dog front man Henrik Ostergaard. The Jamsync Music family would like to extend its deepest and heartfelt condolences to both the Ostergaard and Dirty Looks families.
Henrik, thank you for all the years of great music, you will surely be missed but not forgotten. We will always remember that “It’s not the way you rock, It’s the way that you roll”.
R.I.P. Henrik Ostergaard"
"One of the great singers and guitar players I had the honor of recording at my studio Dodge City Sound in Los Angeles CA . My condolences to his family, band members and friends.... My heart is saddened... he was a true talent and a great guy. One thing I remember about him is that he defiantly knew what he wanted and how to get that great guitar sound and vocal sound... He had a lot of grace and I am sure he is in good company. Rest in peace my friend.
"In 1988 my cousin Mike and I were excited to see Kiss play live. It was our 2nd time seeing them. One of the opening bands, L.A. Guns, cancelled. In their place was Dirty Looks. Mike and I were already fans of the record Cool From The Wire. We were very excited to see Dirty Looks. And they did just what we expected they would do, they kicked ass! Henrik was great at what he did. A true rock and roll icon to us back then, and still to this day. That day, July 4th, 1988 is forever etched in our minds. Thank you Henrik for the good times!
At a later date, which currently evades me, I saw Dirty Looks in Boston performing at The Axis Club. I was standing in front of the stage with my arms crossed, Henrik looked at me, crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows. I got the hint. So I uncrossed my arms and began to rock like there was no tomorrow. At that show, the club next door was playing dance music. Henrik said, "What's with this mother f**king dance sh*t they're playing next door? I guess we'll just have to be louder!". Even though I can't remember the date, I remember the bands, Tip Of The Tongue and Valentine Saloon were the opening bands. However, the stage clearly belonged to Henrik and the boys. They were everything that I expected once again, great rock and roll. And again, thank you Henrik for the good times and great rock and roll. The soundtrack to my life. R.I.P. Henrik.
Rock on forever
- Jon F"
"I first heard of Dirty Looks in high school, Man!!!! What awesome music from the first note of cool from the wire I was hooked!!! I told everybody that my favorite band of “ALL TIME” is Dirty Looks!!!!! Their music pumped me up so much it got me in a good mood every time I heard their music. I also remember going through some tough times in college and the only thing that kept me going was Dirty Looks!!! All I had to do is listen to cool from the wire or Turn of the screw and I instantly felt better!!! Thank You Henrik for all you did for me and so many other!!! To the Ostergaard Family I offer my deepest condolences and I am very sad for your loss. But, know this,
Henrik was a great man who touched and influenced so many lives with the one thing he was great at “MUSIC”!!!
"It was a sad day to learn of Henrik's passing today. My condolences to his family, friends, and band mates. 80's metal was such a huge part of my life and Henrik and Dirty Looks certainly contributed. I remember those nights in some smokey bar in northeastern Pennsylvania just completely loving getting my ears blown out by Henrik and the boys. Such great times! I had the occasion to talk and interact with Henrik a little bit since I worked for some of the local bands in the area. On top of being incredibly talented, he was down to earth, a great guy, and a lot of fun to be around. He really exemplified what the 80's hard rock movement was all about. Before I left home for the Navy in 1989, I went to see a show as a last hurrah. Unfortunatley, this was the show where some idiot hit Henrik in the head with a bottle during the first song and the show was halted. But the true rocker that he was, Henrik eventually came out and finished the show (fans threw the bottle-throwing idoit out of the club themselves). I hadn't listened to Dirty Looks for a while, in fact it was so long all I had was cassette tapes. I ordered a new Cool From the Wire CD today. Henrik lives on.
-Scott K Harveyville, PA"
"I cannot say how deeply saddened I was to hear of the passing of Henrik. I am still in shock and cannot believe it. I have been a die hard fan here in Pennsylvania since 1986 and the release of INYOURFACE. I was turned on to Dirty Looks after reading an interview about them in the PA Musician Magazine and hearing them played on WQSU in Seilinsgrove, PA. where they based themselves for a few years. I have seem them countless times throughout their career and Henrik never dissappointed and always left his fans wanting more. I had the pleasure of meeting him twice. Once before a show in Shamokin Dam, PA and second at a McDonalds in State College, PA where on both occasions he took the time to talk, thank me for the support, and sign all that I had. Even tough people said he was satnd off-ish at times he always appreciated the fan support. His music did and always will play a major part in my life and I thank him for all his efforts. Even though the albums are great and will always remain, live is where he shined and his true personality came through. Thank you Henrik and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and loved ones. Cheers and one for round of Blue Tequillas on me.
-George and Laurie H"
"This is truly a sad day. I still can't/don't want to believe he is gone. I still listen to Cool from the Wire frequently, Dirty Looks being one of my all time favorite bands. I had the honor of meeting the boyz back in 1989 when they played the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre. It always stuck with me how down to earth and what an all around great guy Henrik was. He left that lasting impression on me from our first meeting and I had nothing the upmost respect for him. My heart truly goes out to all of those whoes lives Henrik has touched, the band members and especially his wife and children. May he rest in peace. GOD rest your soul Henrik.
"Hello, I am writing this to let someone know how Henrik had an influence on me.
Was not long after Cool From The Wire came out, like everyone else I wore that tape out…couldn’t listen enough to it. Well, Dirty Looks was going to play at a local club ‘Dallas City Limit’s’. I was able to get in and hang out with Henrik before the show…at first I don’t think he was too happy that I was there.
But he asked how I was doing and I just told him that I wanted him to know what an influence that album was having on me and that I was finding it hard to write my own material, but easy to cover other people’s material. All he said to me was “just go for it”. And since then I have. Even though I’m certain he had no memory of this event I often think about it. That means to me that it was a pretty important moment. After that I was kindly escorted back to the venue.
My heart is with his family. I hope they know he meant a great deal to a great many people.
"My prayers and thoughts are with the Ostergaard family as well as everyone that knew Henrik
-Michael Deau (French Maide)"
"It has been 24 hours since I first heard the news of Henriks passing..I still can't believe it is true. It doesn't seem all that long ago, I would stand in line at The Penny Arcade in Rochester NY each and every time they came.. Up front and center.
Pulled out my vinyl today and also found a few autographed show posters. Cool From The Wire will always be my all time favorite... Pictures of Dirty Looks are still floating around at The House of Guitars!! I still regret never making it to Erie to see one of their shows...
My deepest sympathy goes out to all his family and friends. May he keep on rocking the Heaven above us all!"
Rest In Peace Henrik
"I’m just floored by the news of Henrick’s death. SO MANY great memories of seeing the band play in the NY/NJ area back in the day and hanging out with friends drinking beer and listening to the band. “Cool From the Wire” is one of my top 10 all time favorite albums that I listened to over and over again upon it’s release. I remained a big fan for all these years and have all their releases. Used to Jam “No Brains Child” and “Get Off’ with some buddies of mine in our band. Very sad. My condolences go out to his family.
"Man what heart breaking news to get this morning..Man Henrik thanks for all the years of great music from the early days of WhiteWaters to Dirty Looks...I've enjoyed drumming to Dirty Looks and will continue to do so. It's not everyday we get to know a Rock star a God of music a one of a kind person who was able to give so many people happiness with music the kind of music that you had to play over and over just because we could never get enough of it and always waiting to see what masterpieces were next. Jeanne and I are heart broken and share the pain of so many other and very thankful to have known you. Much Love and hope to Rock with you someday "FLY ON FREEBIRD"
Love Steve, Jeanne and Mitch "
"I was totally shocked when I heard of Henrik's passing today. My buddies and I have been waiting for Henrik to come back and play a show in the Susquehanna Valley (Sunbury, Milton, Danville) area on one of his reunion shows. We used to go see Dirty Looks or Rumbledog or whatever moniker he was playing under all the time at Night Tracks and Fiddlestyx. His music has gotten me through many hard times and many good times. Tonight as I write this I realize how much that music impacted me. I wanted to see him one more time, but now that will not happen. I pray for his surviving family members and the band members that he has played with in the past. He certainly was a great showman. While we will never get to see his show live on Earth again, we are certainly blessed to have the music that we do have. It gets regular play still especially when the old gang gets together and at Penn State and Eagles tailgate parties. People still come up and ask us about the Dirty Looks songs when they here them. What a great tribute that will live on forever. All I know is that God better open the door, cause Henrik's coming through.
Chris L. - Montandon, PA"
"In 1989 I turned 16yrs old and came across Turn of The Screw. I listened to it so much that I wore the cassette out and had to buy another. I have been a huge fan of DL ever since and have particularly loved the new stuff that has come out in the last few years. I never had the pleasure of seeing the band live but it has always been one of my favorites. I will listen to this band until I am gone from this earth. Henrik was one of a kind, as were his bands, and will remain great in the hearts of their fans. May God bless his family at this time.
"I got turned on to Dirty Looks immediately after the release of Cool From The Wire and soon I became virtually obsessed with that album. Very quickly Dirty Looks became one of my favorite bands of the entire 80s hard rock era. I preferred them to critical darlings and multi-platinum artists like Guns N Roses and Poison and Crue. No one wrote cooler, more rockin' tunes than Henrik and the boys. And Henrik's gruff yet melodic vocals, Paul Lidel's incredible guitar work and the tight rhythm section of Gene Barnett and Jack Pyers (not to mention Jack's awesome stage presence) put them heads and tails above almost everyone else for me.
Luckily, being an east coast guy, I was fortunate to see Dirty Looks live many times. And being a local rock writer, I got to meet Henrik and the boys on numerous occasions, eventually forging a friendship with Henrik that lasted through the mid-90s until we eventually lost touch. I know Henrik had a reputation among some musicians he played with as being a tough nut to crack (perhaps that's putting it mildly) but I always found him warm, friendly, accommodating and funny. I was thrilled to see his resurgence in recent years. it was great to see him writing and recording under the Dirty Looks moniker again.
Hearing of his death today saddens me deeply. I admired him and Dirty Looks greatly and he was an influence on my songwriting and continues to be today. There were rumors that Dirty Looks was going to make an appearance at this May's M3 festival but alas, it was not to be. I know Dirty Looks may not have been the most popular band from the 80s and early 90s rock scene those that were fans were always keenly aware that they knew a secret that the rest of the world didn't know. They knew what an awesome band Dirty Looks was and what a talented individual Henrik was. He will be sorely missed by me and the thousands of fans who continue to spin "Cool From The Wire," "Turn of the Screw," "Bootlegs," "Five Easy Pieces" and their may other albums. R.I.P. Henrik - enjoy a Blue Tequila in heaven!
- David Shaw (Street Light Circus)"
"I am shocked to the core hearing one of my favorite frontman of all time has left us. I missed the reunion at The Warner and now he's gone. May God bless his friends and family. The world just dimmed.
- Eric D"
"My sympathy goes out to Henril Jr. , Elliot, And your mother along with all his family and friends !!!! Henrik helped me through many emotions and touched my heart with all the music he created . I am so blessed to have the oppertunities to see him live and interview him for Texas Beat when I wrote for them. We laughed and had a great time everytime we crossed each others path. It is definately a sad day and you will be missed so dearly !!!! Love you , Bro !!!! See you on the other side !!!!
- Wes R"
"I go all the way back to Sticky Records with Dirty looks (remember vinyl?). I used to sneak into the Scorpion in State College to see them every time they were in town. They were just fantastic. I have played guitar for thirty years and I still play Put A Spell On You every few weeks. Five Easy Pieces is one of the most overlooked albums of that whole era. I was hoping they would get back out on tour and that I might see Henrik doing it like only he could one more time. Abracadabra baby...
- Bob E"
"I read that Henrik passed away this morning and 12 hours later I still can't believe it. I first heard Dirty Looks when I was I really young, I must've been 9. Since then, they have been my favorite band. Words can't even describe the sorrow i feel and for his family. Everything about this band I loved. I love his voice and the lyrics so much, nobody wrote more wicked lyrics and grooves than Henrik and the boys. Their music was there for me through tough times and the great times, an immense part of my life. Thank you for making my life a little bit better with every song :) I know their music will continue to be there but the one show i have always craved to see was Dirty Looks. I wish his family and friends well, my thoughts are with you and especially you Henrik, keep kicking ass at the big show in the sky! R.I.P.
"I am in shock! Words can not express what a loss this is. I remember jamming to Dirty Looks in high school. Have every album they ever made include all Henricks' solo outings. I have all DL albums loaded in my car and will tribute all day tomorrow. RIP Henrick and thanks for the great music and memories!
-The Metal Detector"
"This band was one of my favorites growing up, im at a total loss on what to say....i was so hoping to see them on the road one day soon.....Thank you for your music Henrik, and the great times i had listening to it....RIP Henrik, a long time fan
- Matt B, Aylett, VA"
"Today is a very sad day for me and many Dirty Looks Fan's. I have been a huge fan since the Cool From The Wire days. I have seen them so many times I can't even begin to count. Although they never got to the level of popularity that some of the other bands for the 80's, their fans were diehards to the end. I had the great opportunity to hang out with Henrik and the guys on numerous occasions and they were always appreciative of our support, especially Henrik.
Henrik actually used photos I took of them in the early 90's for the California Free Ride CD and that is something that I will never forget and will always be one of my greatest memories. I was one of the Lucky Fans who were able to see the comeback show at the Warner in Erie. I was front row and it was if I was 1987 again and I was at the Penny Arcade in Rochester, NY. He was always a great performer and always left us wanting more, unfortunately we wont have that experience again. I guess that is the best way to go, leaving your fans wanting more.
Dirty Looks has been my favorite band since the first time I heard them and they will remain that forever.
Rest in Peace Henrik, you will be truly missed.
"I have been a fan of Dirty looks since the first time I saw 'Nobody Rides for
Free' on MTV. And I had just started looking for their CD's to own. I was very
stoked to see that they had reformed and were working on a new album. I had been
looking forward to hearing their latest album and am very sad to hear of
Henrik's passing. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with
his children and the band members. God Bless.
- Joe S"
Archive of updates available here