Thursday, July 31, 2014

R.I.P.: Dick Wagner

Dick Wagner, the guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss and Aerosmith, among others, died Wednesday (July 30, 2014) at the age of 71.

In his lifetime, Wagner played guitar with a number of notable names in pop and rock, including Rod Stewart, Hall and Oates and Meatloaf, among others. He also made a name for himself as a songwriter for his mid-Seventies work with Cooper.

Wagner was born in Iowa but grew up in the Detroit area and, as a self-taught guitarist, was asked to back Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison on one-off gigs. By the later part of the decade, he came to prominence as the frontman for the rock group the Frost and, after moving to New York City in the early Seventies, as a member of Ursa Major. 

The latter group, whose original group featured keyboardist Billy Joel, recorded with Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin, who recognized Wagner's talent and brought him in to play additional guitar on a few albums.

The Ezrin connection would pave the way for Wagner's biggest gigs. His playing was featured on some of Lou Reed's greatest recordings.

Wagner's final album was 2009's Full Meltdown. MORE HERE & HERE

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