Iggy Pop and producer Tony Visconti have both taken to social media to share the news that guitarist Ricky Gardiner has passed away at the age of 73.
Gardiner is best known for his collaborative relationship with Iggy Pop, with whom he co-wrote ‘The Passenger’, as well as working with David Bowie, and co-writing other songs on Lust for Life, including the tracks ‘Success’ and ‘Neighborhood Threat’.
Following the news, Iggy Pop shared on Twitter, “Dearest Ricky, lovely, lovely man, shirtless in your coveralls, nicest guy who ever played guitar. Thanks for the memories and the songs, rest eternal in peace.”
Although it has been confirmed that the guitarist had been living with Parkinson’s disease, his cause of death is as of yet unknown. He passed away on Monday, May 16th.
Gardiner was born in 1948 and was a self-taught musician from early childhood. In addition to his aforementioned collaborative efforts, he also co-founded the prog-rock act Beggars Opera, maintaining a place in the group between its inception in 1969 and his departure in 1975. He then went on to work with both Bowie and Iggy Pop, touring with both of them and collaborating notably with Iggy Pop. “I heard myself playing in the distance. The strength, inherent in a round, arrested my attention and I registered the sequence for future use,” he said in an interview of co-writing ‘The Passenger’.
Even after stepping away from the spotlight, he continued to make music, especially electronic and meditation-focused music. Although he admitted to struggling with electrosensitivity in 2006, which made it harder to produce his electronic works, he left his mark on so much of the music industry. It’s clear that he was a great talent that left a distinct legacy in the music industry. He will be remembered through his various contributions to so many of history’s rock legends.
You can take a listen to ‘The Passenger’ as performed by Iggy Pop below to remember his songwriting talents.