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Former Molly Hatchet Bassist Banner Thomas Passes

NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — Former Molly Hatchet bassist Banner Thomas passed away from complications of pneumonia at his home near Jacksonville on April 10th.

Thomas joined Molly Hatchet several years after the band was founded in 1971 and played on their first four albums, including writing credits on the band's standout hits such as Flirting With Disaster and "Gator Country."

However, friction with the band and the pressures of being a commercial artist led to Banner quitting the outfit in 1983 to be replaced by Riff West, who is also deceased.

"We all started thinking we were stars, and that drove wedges into the cracks that started forming. I was as guilty as anybody else. I got into an argument with Dave, got mad, and quit. Do I regret it today? Yes, and no. I'm sorry I quit the way I did, when I did, but it looks like I picked a good time to get out. Not long after, under pressure from management and the record company to produce more hit singles, the band started to lose its identity, and started to look like Loverboy. I'm glad I wasn't there for that," Banner said, describing leaving Molly Hatchet to an interviewer in 2003.

Apart from his work with Molly Hatchet, Banner also performed with another southern rock band, Big Engine, and then with the Dewey Via Band until his passing. – Staff Writers