Guitarist Dick Wagner Dies

Dick Wagner, who played with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel and many others, died this morning in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the age of 71.


Having undergone a cardiac procedure, Wagner had spent the last two weeks in intensive care at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, according to the Detroit Free Press.  Respiratory failure is reported as the cause of death.

Born in Iowa, Wagner spent much of his early life in Michigan.  His first band was the Detroit-area group The Bossmen.  He formed one of rock’s legendary garage bands, The Frost, in the late 1960s. Moving to New York in the 1970s, Wagner played on Lou Reed’s 1973 album, Berlin.

Having played on Alice Cooper’s School’s Out album, Wagner began working with the horror-rocker in an official capacity when Cooper put together a new band in the mid-70s.  Cooper and Wagner share songwriting credits on the Cooper hit “Only Women Bleed.”

Wagner documented his years playing music with a 2012 memoir titled “Not Only Women Bleed, Vignettes from the Heart of a Rock Musician.”

“There was just a magic in the way we wrote together,” Cooper said in a statement sent to the Free Press. “He was always able to find exactly the right chord to match perfectly with what I was doing.  I think that we always think our friends will be around as long as we are, so to hear of Dick’s passing comes as a sudden shock and an enormous loss for me, rock ’n’ roll and to his family.”