RIP Athens Musician Ash Rickli

The sad news came in over the weekend that Ash Rickli, an Athens musician known for playing in the experimental rock band Strictly Rickli, among other projects, died after suffering a cardiac emergency earlier in the week.

Rickli, who was 30, leaves behind a partner, Desiree Sharpe, whom Flagpole recently profiled as part of an article on local tarot practitioners. A Gofundme page has been set up to assist Sharpe—who is pregnant with twins—and Rickli’s family, with over $20,000 already raised.

Sharpe tells Flagpole, “I want everyone to know that [Ash] was an amazing visual artist, musician and creative force. That he was so excited to be having twins. That he was wild and confident and humble and brilliant. That he was the love of my life.”

Speaking on behalf of Bizarro-Wuxtry, where Rickli worked, Wuxtry staffer Nate Mitchell calls Rickli “a talented musician and visual artist,” adding that “we are as stunned and saddened by his untimely passing as anyone else who knew him.

“Our deepest condolences go out to his family, his partner Desi and the family-to-be who he never had the chance to meet,” Mitchell continues. “Ash Rickli was an amazing human being who made the world a better place, and we sincerely hope his memory will be preserved as long as possible.”

Many more tributes have poured in on social media, with friends remembering Rickli’s talent, spirit and generosity.

And Southern Shelter’s Sloan Simpson shared a live recording of a Strictly Rickli set from 2014:

Flagpole‘s thoughts are with Rickli’s friends and family.


  • AthFest is Canceled This Year as Coronavirus Spreads

    As the coronavirus continues to spread illness and unease throughout Georgia and the U.S., Athens suffers a significant cultural and economic blow as organizers have announced the cancellation of...
  • Five Acts to See at Ad·Verse Fest

    With an eclectic approach that mines the space between music, visual and performance art, Ad·verse Fest features an exciting, queer-centric lineup of scrappy newcomers and more road-tested acts, many...
  • Shane Parish & Sean Dail

    With the innovative North Carolina band Ahleuchatistas, guitarist Shane Parish pushed the boundaries of the early-’00s math-rock scene by incorporating international influences, as well as a healthy dose of...
  • Ruston Kelly, Valley Queen

    Specializing in a twangy, earnest brand of Americana he famously dubbed “dirt emo” in 2018, singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly made good on the term’s promise last year with the release...