Sunday 15 December 2019

Dick Wagner, guitarist for Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, dies aged 71

Musician/songwriter Dick Wagner performs while promoting the new book
Musician/songwriter Dick Wagner performs while promoting the new book "Not Only Women Bleed" at Bookends Bookstore on April 13, 2013 in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Jenn Selby

Dick Wagner, who played guitar and wrote songs with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, KISS and Aerosmith, has died aged 71.

The musician had contracted a lung infection after heart surgery and passed away in a hospital in Arizona following respiratory failure, Billboard reports.

Just last week, he had posted the following message to fans via his Facebook account: “I love you all very much. I can't wait to play for you all again one day soon. Thank you for all your kind wishes.”

Alice Copper was among the first to pay his respects, describing the guitarist as “irreplaceable”.

“Even though we know it's inevitable, we never expect to suddenly lose close friends and collaborators,” he said.

“Dick Wagner and I shared as many laughs as we did hit records. He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable.

“His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore, and there are very few people that I enjoyed working with as much as I enjoyed working with Dick Wagner.

“A lot of my radio success in my solo career had to do with my relationship with Dick Wagner. Not just on stage, but in the studio and writing.

“Some of my biggest singles were ballads what I wrote with Dick Wagner. Most of Welcome to My Nightmare was written with Dick.

“There was just a magic in the way we wrote together. He was always able to find exactly the right chord to match perfectly with what I was doing.

“I think that we always think our friends will be around as long as we are, so to hear of Dick's passing comes as a sudden shock and an enormous loss for me, Rock N Roll and to his family.”

Gene Simmons of KISS described Wagner as “the consummate gentleman axeman” in his tribute.

Wagner’s career got off to a classic start when he became a member of Reed’s band in 1973, playing on Berlin and Rock N Roll Animal.

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