The former Black Flag and Rollins Band vocalist Henry Rollins broke the news via his website, with a statement from Vega’s family. “Alan passed peacefully in his sleep last night, July 16,” the statement said. “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. “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.”
In einem 2008er Interview im Guardian erzählt Vega, wie Clash-Fans mal eine Axt nach ihm geworfen hatten:
"We were supporting the Clash and I guess we were too punk even for the punk crowd. They hated us. I taunted them with, 'You fuckers have to live through us to get to the main band.' That's when the axe came towards my head, missing me by a whisker. It was surreal, man. I felt like I was in a 3-D John Wayne movie. But that was nothing unusual. Every Suicide show felt like world war three in those days. Every night I thought I was going to get killed. The longer it went on, the more I'd be thinking, 'Odds are it's going to be tonight.'"
Suicide waren nie so richtig erfolgreich, dabei aber massiv einflussreich und ihrer Zeit weit voraus. Suicide erfanden den Post-Punk, als Punk grade durchstartete, waren so ungefähr die ersten, die minimalistische, aggressive elektronische Musik spielten und damit Jahre später Bands wie Television, Sonic Youth, Joy Division oder Throbbing Gristle beeinflussten und letztlich ganze Genres wie Electronic Body Music (EBM) und Industrial aus dem Boden stampften. Den riesigen Impact der Band spürt man bis heute in Bands wie LCD Soundsystem, den Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars oder Death From Above 1979.
Anders formuliert: We've lost a Legend. Danke für die Weirdness, Alan. R.I.P.
Hier das komplette Statement von Henry Rollins Website:
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. 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 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. Their first, self-titled album is one of the single most challenging and noteworthy achievements in American music.
Alan Vega was the quintessential artist on every imaginable level. His entire life was devoted to outputting what his vision commanded of him.
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. After decades of constant output, the world seemed to catch up with Alan and he was acknowledged as the groundbreaking creative individual he had been from the very start.
Alan’s life is a lesson of what it is to truly live for art. The work, the incredible amount of time required, the courage to keep seeing it and the strength to bring it forth—this was Alan Vega.
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.