Alan Vega, the frontman of influential NYC avant-garde protopunk-electronic music duo Suicide, has died at the age of 78. In the ’70s Vega and partner Martin Rev made a name for their band courtesy of their aggressive, often confrontational live shows that bordered on riots. “Even the punks didn’t like Suicide,” Vega said in a 2008 interview. “We were the ultimate punks because even the punks hated us.”
Suicide recorded five sythn-dominated studio albums during their illustrious career: Suicide (1977), Suicide: Alan Vega and Marin Rev (1980), A Way of Life (1988), Why Be Blue (1992) and American Supreme (2002). Vega also recorded a series of solo albums and wrote several books.
News of Vega’s passing was first shared on a statement posted on musician/author Henry Rollins’ website.
Alan passed peacefully in his sleep last night, July 16. He was 78 years of age.
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 1970s, they formed the two-person avant band known as Suicide.
Suicide still bringing the noise: ‘We can’t predict the content, but who would want to?’
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. Their first, self-titled album is one of the single most challenging and noteworthy achievements in American music.
The statement continued:
“One of the greatest aspects of Alan Vega was his unflinching adherence to the demands of his art. He only did what he wanted. Simply put, he lived to create.
“Alan is survived by his amazing family, wife Liz and son Dante. His incredible body of work, spanning five decades, will be with us forever.”