Robert Haimer, one-half of the duo Barnes & Barnes has died at age 69. His bandmate Bill Mumy confirmed the news in a Facebook post, writing: “Robert was a one of a kind artist and person. Our relationship was based on harmony as was our music. Sometimes there was dissonance and silence and sometimes we made a mighty raucous roar together.”
Haimer was born in 1954 and was childhood friends with Mumy. They started Barnes & Barnes in 1970, taking on stage personas as Art and Artie Barnes. (Haimer played the latter.) They made jokey novelty songs that became popular on The Dr. Demento Show radio show.
In 1978, they scored their biggest hit in “Fish Heads.” Actor Bill Paxton directed and appeared in the song’s music video, which was played in a December 1980 episode of Saturday Night Live. After the success of “Fish Heads,” Barnes & Barnes continued to release music — the most recent album, Haimoom, came out last year.
“I will miss making that unique ‘Barnes’ music very much. Robert made many people happy with his talent and his humor,” Mumy continued in his tribute. “Fish Heads, our biggest hit, came from the mind of Robert Haimer. As with a lot of our catalogue, I just helped him fill in the blanks.”