Sad news to report as Rob “Bobeats” Vitale has died, apparently from COVID-19, according to posts from friends. Rob was best known as the co-founder and lead singer of NYHC band Black Train Jack, and later Nine Lives. Condolences and tributes have been pouring in from all over the Hardcore and greater Punk world. Born from the members of another classic band, Token Entry, Black Train Jack had two major albums on Roadrunner Records in the early 1990s with 1993’s No Heroes and 1994’s You’re Not Alone. BTJ was innovative and inspired many by blending old-school NYHC sounds with a brilliant melodic sensibility (vocals, vocal harmonies, and guitars) that had a huge influence on the 90s pop-punk that followed. We send our sympathies out to Rob’s family, many friends, and countless fans at this time.
😞🙏🏼😞RIP Bobeats. We love you pic.twitter.com/TQF94HuZjd
— BNB Productions (@BNBProductions) March 28, 2021
I AM FUCKING SO SAD RIGHT NOW. JUST FOUND OUT MY BOY ROB VITALE FROM BLACK TRAIN JACK HAS PASSED AWAY TODAY FROM COVID!!! HE HAD A VOICE OF AN ANGEL & A HEART OF GOLD!!! YOU WILL BE MISSED BOBEATS!!!
— DANNY DIABLO (@DannyDiablo) March 29, 2021
Sad to hear that Rob Vitale has died. Black Train Jack were sweet and earnest anomalies amongst NYHC and Vitale’s voice was as distinct as any of the best in the scene. https://t.co/tZV2t4oqGn
— Zachary Lipez (@ZacharyLipez) March 28, 2021
One of my favorite vocalists in underground music has left the building and will never be forgotten.
Rest In Peace Rob Vitale from Black Train Jack and 9 Lives…..
I’ll never forget the kindness, respect, & friendship you offered me. Eternal respect. RIP pic.twitter.com/nEDIbFodCg
— Kevin Gill (@OGkevingill) March 28, 2021