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Dick Wagner: Iconic Guitarist Dies At 71

Thu, July 31, 2014 10:34am EDT by HL Intern 1 Comment
Courtesy of Getty

So sad. Dick Wagner, who worked with Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, KISS and more passed away on July 30. He was 71.

Dick Wagner, the guitarist who worked with Alice Cooper, 66, Aerosmith and KISS at various points in his career, has died at the age of 71 in Scottsdale, Arizona from respiratory failure.

Dick Wagner Dead At 71: Guitarist Passes Away In Arizona

Dick Wagner, who played guitar for a number of prestigious names in music, has died. The guitarist passed away at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center on July 30, Detroit Free Press confirms. Two weeks before his death, Dick had been in intensive care following a cardiac procedure. Dick was born in Iowa on December 14, 1942 and grew up in Detroit, Mich. A self-taught guitarist, Dick gained radio attention with his first band, Bossmen, and the song “Baby Boy.”

Following the success of Bossmen, Dick joined The Frost and the band released three albums for Vanguard Records.
In 1972, Dick moved to New York City to start the band Ursa Major, which included Billy Joel, 65, on keyboards. The group recorded with Alice Cooper’s producer Bob Ezrin, 65, who later brought him in to play additional guitar on School’s OutBillion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love albums. Dick gained national recognition when he joined Lou Reed’s band for 1973’s Berlin and the live album, Rock N’ Roll Animal. Later in his career, Dick worked with Peter Gabriel, 64, Daryl Hall, 67, & John Oates, 65, Burton Cummings, 66, and Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner, 65. In 2012, Dick published his memoir, Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes From the Heart of a Rock Musician. “Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life,” Dick’s family and record label wrote on his website. Our thoughts go out to Dick’s family and friends during this difficult time. — Stephanie Bray 

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