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Men at Work guitarist threatened to kill singer, police say [UPDATED]

February 17, 2009 | 10:21 am

Menatwork Aussie band Men at Work hit it big in the 1980s with such songs as "Who Can It Be Now?" and "It's a Mistake." Now the lead guitarist for the band may want to call on those titles for his defense.

Ronald Strykert, 51, one of the founders of the band, was arrested Feb. 13 by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies on an outstanding bench warrant on a charge of making criminal threats.

Strykert threatened to kill the band's lead singer, Colin Hay, in December 2007 in an incident that was handled by the Sheriff Department's Lost Hills-Malibu station, according to Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The guitarist skipped out last May on his arraignment on a misdemeanor charge of making criminal threats, Robison said.

Updated, 10:21 a.m.:  Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said today that Strykert made the threat over the phone from his residence in Bozeman, Mont. Whitmore said sheriff's officials sent Strykert a letter in April, ordering him to appear in Malibu court, but the guitarist never showed up for his May 30 arraignment on misdemeanor charges of making criminal threats.

Updated 10:30 a.m.: Strykert denied making the threat, Whitmore said, and Hay told investigators he did not believe the guitarist would carry out  the threat.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Singer Colin Hay, left, was allegedly threatened by the lead guitarist for the band Men at Work. Hay is shown with band saxophonist Greg Ham.

Credit: Tony Mahoney