Alan Vega dies, aged 78
Alan Vega, frontman and co-founder of the pioneering electro-punk duo Suicide, has died this weekend, aged 78. News of Vega's death was confirmed in a statement from the singer's family, posted by Henry Rollins on the former Black Flag frontman's website on Saturday:
“With profound sadness and a stillness that only news like this can bring, we regret to inform you that the great artist and creative force, Alan Vega has passed away.
“Alan passed peacefully in his sleep last night, July 16... Alan was not only relentlessly creative, writing music and painting until the end, he was also startlingly unique.. Alan Vega was the quintessential artist on every imaginable level. His entire life was devoted to outputting what his vision commanded of him.”
By the time they released their eponymous debut album in 1977, Vega and his bandmate Martin Rev were already a regular fixture on the New York punk scene and are credited with being the first band to use the phrase 'punk music' to describe their musical style. Suicide's music has been an influence on various genres including punk, post-punk, electronic music, industrial, synth pop and beyond, inspiring artists as diverse as Nine Inch Nails, The KLF, Pet Shop Boys and Radiohead, all of whom have cited the duo's work as an influence. In recent years, their music has been sampled by LCD Soundsystem and M.I.A., and their songs covered by Savages, Neneh Cherry and Primal Scream.
Our thoughts go out to his family. Rest in peace, Alan.