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Alan Vega (1938 - 2016)

Getty Images / Redferns / Photo by Jordi Vidal

Alan Vega (1938 - 2016)

Alan Vega, the lead singer of the influential proto-punk band Suicide, died June 16, 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 78.

Former Black Flag vocalist Henry Rollins shared the news via his website, with a statement from Vega’s family.

"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," Vega’s family wrote.

 "Alan was not only relentlessly creative, writing music and painting until the end, he was also startlingly unique. Along with Martin Rev, in the early 1970's, they formed the two-person avant band known as Suicide. Almost immediately, their incredible and unclassifiable music went against every possible grain. Their confrontational live performances, light-years before Punk Rock, are the stuff of legend.”

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Vega and Rev created Suicide after they attended a Stooges concert in 1969. They named the band after an issue of the Marvel comic “Ghost Rider.” The band was known for their intense live shows at venues like CBGB in New York.

Their debut album was self-titled and was featured on Pitchfork’s greatest albums of the 1970s and is also on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Suicide has been cited as a major influence for many artists. New Order, U2, Radiohead, and Bruce Springsteen, who covered their song "Dream Baby Dream" on his 2014 album, High Hopes.

Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers tweeted: “Just got off stage to find out the great Alan Vega has left us. What a great innovator been listening to suicide constantly lately. R.I.P.”

Vega was born Boruch Alan Bermowitz in Brooklyn, New York. He is survived by his wife, Liz, and son Dante.

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