Punk rocker killed in USA

'PUNK just died a little. RIP and goodbye.' This tribute is one of hundreds scattered across music websites as fans of all ages and nationalities remember New Mills guitarist, Nidge Miller, founder member of the influential punk band Blitz.

Alan Paul Nigel Miller, 48, died on Friday February 9 while on tour in America, after being hit by a car.

With just two dates left on the month-long tour, sketchy reports say Nidge wandered onto freeway 35 in Austin, Texas, after a gig.

His older sister Jackie Williams, of Congleton, said: "We are all in shock. We didn't know until Sunday when the police contacted us, but they didn't give much detail.

"Nidge's band-members said he just wandered into the freeway.

"This was his dream to tour America, to play to hundreds of fans. He died living his dream and how many of us can say that?"

After a couple of decades break from the road, Nidge had recently rekindled his fan-base and attracted a new generation of punk-lovers to Blitz tours in the US.

The original line-up split in the early 90s after disputes over touring.

Nidge's brother Brian, of Buxworth, said Blitz was revived after an American band started playing their songs, but couldn't use the band name. Their manager called Nigel a few years ago and asked him to tour with them. So Blitz was reborn.

Brian said: "Nidge was a very dark horse. We knew he was a brilliant musician but we were shocked to find he was so big in America. We only found out because we were looking on the internet to find out more about how he died."

Nidge's sister Lynda, said: "His fans now are very young people and they looked up to him for advice. He was really a sweet guy, a caring person.

"He loved New Mills and the countryside. He would often walk over to see me in Buxworth."

Nidge started his first band XS Rhythm aged 15 with a friend at New Mills Secondary School. After leaving school XS was joined by others and they renamed the band Blitz after the Ramones' classic Blitzkrieg Bop.

The Ramones, Motorhead and Killing Joke were Nidge's biggest influences.

In the early 80s they released their first album 'All Out Attack' with Know Future Records and followed it up with a UK and European tour.

by Johanna Dollerson