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OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: July 31, 2014 12:06

Sad news today about the man who beefed up Lo Reed and Alice Cooper's sound in the mid-70s. He also worked with Aerosmith and Kiss among many others.

I was lucky enoughto see him with Alice Cooper's band at Wembley in 75 when they play Welcome To My Nightmare. RIP Dick.


Here's an obituary from Rollin Stone magazine.


Dick Wagner, who played guitar with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and Kiss at various points in his career, died on July 30th after being hospitalized in Scottsdale, Arizona for respiratory failure. Two weeks earlier, he had undergone a cardiac procedure, according to Detroit Free Press. He was 71.

How Dick Wagner Saved the Day on Kiss' 'Destroyer'

In his lifetime, Wagner played guitar with a number of notable names in pop and rock, including Rod Stewart, Hall and Oates and Meatloaf, among others. He also made a name for himself as a songwriter for his mid-Seventies work with Cooper.

Wagner was born in Iowa but grew up in the Detroit area and, as a self-taught guitarist, was asked to back Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison on one-off gigs. By the later part of the decade, he came to prominence as the frontman for the rock group the Frost and in the early Seventies as a member of Ursa Major. The latter group recorded with Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin, who recognized Wagner's talent and brought him in to play additional guitar on their School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love LPs.

The Ezrin connection would pave the way for Wagner's biggest gigs. His playing was featured on Lou Reed's 1973 rock opera Berlin – an album that also featured guitarist Steve Hunter – and, later that year, Wagner and Hunter backed Reed on the tour that was featured on the live albums Rock 'n' Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live.

The Wagner-Hunter guitar tandem would go on to play on Alice Cooper's Bob Ezrin–produced first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare. It was on that album that Wagner was able to show off his songwriting ability, co-writing the hits "Welcome to My Nightmare," "Department of Youth" and "Only Women Bleed," among others. On subsequent Seventies Cooper records, Wagner helped write the hits "I Never Cry," "You and Me" and "How You Gonna See Me Now" and toured with the singer. The guitarist would occasionally play on Cooper records in the Eighties and Nineties, and he even made an appearance on Cooper's most recent record, 2011's Welcome 2 My Nightmare, co-writing one song and playing lead guitar on another.

"Even though we know it's inevitable, we never expect to suddenly lose close friends and collaborators," Cooper said in a statement. "Dick Wagner and I shared as many laughs as we did hit records. He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable. His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore, and there are very few people that I enjoyed working with as much as I enjoyed working with Dick Wagner.

"A lot of my radio success in my solo career had to do with my relationship with Dick Wagner," he continued. "Not just onstage, but in the studio and writing.... There was just a magic in the way we wrote together. 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 & roll and to his family."

"Dick and I were lucky enough to play on some pretty cool records," Hunter wrote in a tweet. "The stuff we did together back in the Seventies was truly magical."

Outside of his work with Cooper and Reed, Wagner released an Ezrin-produced solo album, Richard Wagner, in 1978. He also played guitar – often uncredited – on records by Aerosmith (a solo on "Train Kept A-Rollin'"), Kiss (acoustic guitar on "Beth"), Peter Gabriel ("Here Comes the Flood") and Air Supply ("Just as I Am.") His website contains a detailed discography, right down to an appearance on a record by Elvira.

In 2008, Wagner and his Frost bandmates were inducted into a local online hall of fame, the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends, whose website also contains a detailed history of his works.

Wagner moved to Arizona in 2005 and suffered a heart attack two years later. He spent years recovering and eventually performed onstage again in 2011 in the Detroit area. The next year, he put out a memoir, Not Only Women Bleed: Vignettes From the Heart of a Rock Musician, which contained stories from throughout his career.

"Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life," Wagner's family and record label wrote in a statement on his website. "His creativity and passion will live on forever in the legacy he has left for us, in his music and his words. We have so much of him to celebrate."

His family plans on holding a memorial tribute for him in Michigan.


Read more: [www.rollingstone.com]
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-07-31 12:07 by Silver Dagger.

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: July 31, 2014 14:49

Damn, just last week-end I was reading the tale of his recent health problems.

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: HouseBoyKnows ()
Date: July 31, 2014 15:47

Most of us know the Lou and Alice connection. Growing up in mid-60s Michigan, I recall he was a member of the Beatles wannabee band the Bossmen who played clubs and high school gyms (including ours) all over the Saginaw/Flint/Detroit region. They morphed into Terry Knight and the Pack which morphed into Grand Funk Railroad while Dick went off to form Dick Wagner and the Frost.

Bossmen with shades of the Beatle’s Wait here and an early Dick solo




Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: July 31, 2014 15:51

Imo he'll be remembered 1st and foremost for this :
[en.wikipedia.org]

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Long John Stoner ()
Date: July 31, 2014 15:55

That was a really nice write up in the first post. Wagner's guitar was part of the signature sound of my teen years in the 70's on the Alice Cooper records. RIP.

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: BroomWagon ()
Date: July 31, 2014 16:18

Quote
dcba
Imo he'll be remembered 1st and foremost for this :
[en.wikipedia.org]

Agreed, I've listened to that a number of times recently. Excellent music.

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: SonicDreamer ()
Date: August 2, 2014 14:37

Damn, never checked out RnRA before, the version of RnR is fabulous.

Saw Lou do Berlin in London twice, the band were phenomenal and the music transcendent.
What also took me back was how much Lou was a focused band leader; he really held the band in the palm of his hand, where as before seeing him live I expected him to have a looser approach.
Tragic that there will be no chance to hear those sounds again...

Cheers,
SonicD

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Date: August 2, 2014 15:22

What a loss. I remember him mainly for the Hunter/Wagner team on the Lou Reed albums. 'R&R Animal' and 'Live'.

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Rank Stranger ()
Date: August 2, 2014 17:27

Sad news, indeed!
By coincidence, just last week I finished putting those two Reed live cds on cd-r in (hopefully) the correct song order for my own listening pleasure.
Was talking to a friend, why did the record company never come up with remaster of the whole show??

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: TeaAtThree ()
Date: August 2, 2014 20:16

I love, love, love, love the Lou Reed double-header. Never once heard the Alice Cooper record. Gonna check that out today.
Sad Song.
T@3

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Jah Paul ()
Date: August 2, 2014 20:27

Alice and Dick...



(courtesy Alice's Facebook page)

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: pepganzo ()
Date: August 2, 2014 22:38









RIP

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Bungo ()
Date: August 8, 2014 21:07

"He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable. His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore"

Truer words were never spoken. He was one of my faves. Go easy bro.

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: DGA35 ()
Date: August 8, 2014 23:30

Unlike most of the responses, I knew Dick Wagner from his time with Alice Cooper. He and Steve Hunter made a good guitar duo. I saw Steve Hunter in the early 90's when he was playing with David Lee Roth. Never knew he played acoustic guitar on Beth!

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: August 9, 2014 01:21

Quote
Palace Revolution 2000
What a loss. I remember him mainly for the Hunter/Wagner team on the Lou Reed albums. 'R&R Animal' and 'Live'.

Thanks for that info, I was totally infatuated by the Sweet Jane intro on that record and spent some hours learning it note for note by lifting the needle off the record. I always thought it was Steve Hunter who played the amazing lead parts but I guess I'll have to acknowledge Mr. Wagner now too. peace

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: microvibe ()
Date: August 9, 2014 05:06

d.wagner also played on aerosmiths same old song and dance,pandoras box,woman of the world and of course the second part of train kept a rollin.great player!

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Date: August 9, 2014 17:38

Quote
Naturalust
Quote
Palace Revolution 2000
What a loss. I remember him mainly for the Hunter/Wagner team on the Lou Reed albums. 'R&R Animal' and 'Live'.

Thanks for that info, I was totally infatuated by the Sweet Jane intro on that record and spent some hours learning it note for note by lifting the needle off the record. I always thought it was Steve Hunter who played the amazing lead parts but I guess I'll have to acknowledge Mr. Wagner now too. peace

yes Natural. I think Hunter plays most the leads on the whole album. One can hear his LP. To me it always sounds like DW was playing an SG. The best thing about that duo, and esp, those albums is to listen to both of them on each side of stereo, and see them swapping off. DW often has a phaser on. That intro - while SH is playing the solos and the chief melody, DW's parts are as essential.
You most likely have already checked this out, but if not: on the 'Live" album they do a version of "Oh Jim" that escalates into one of those classic guitar solo battles where they throw lines at each other; back and forth. Great!

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Wry Cooter ()
Date: August 10, 2014 04:55

Quote
Palace Revolution 2000
Quote
Naturalust
Quote
Palace Revolution 2000
What a loss. I remember him mainly for the Hunter/Wagner team on the Lou Reed albums. 'R&R Animal' and 'Live'.

Thanks for that info, I was totally infatuated by the Sweet Jane intro on that record and spent some hours learning it note for note by lifting the needle off the record. I always thought it was Steve Hunter who played the amazing lead parts but I guess I'll have to acknowledge Mr. Wagner now too. peace

yes Natural. I think Hunter plays most the leads on the whole album. One can hear his LP. To me it always sounds like DW was playing an SG. The best thing about that duo, and esp, those albums is to listen to both of them on each side of stereo, and see them swapping off. DW often has a phaser on. That intro - while SH is playing the solos and the chief melody, DW's parts are as essential.
You most likely have already checked this out, but if not: on the 'Live" album they do a version of "Oh Jim" that escalates into one of those classic guitar solo battles where they throw lines at each other; back and forth. Great!

Yeah, that version of "oh Jim" is amazing and intense. In fact, I think virtually all the "Berlin" songs done on these two live LPs are the best versions. That was some band. And even Lou's drugged out, half assed, talk-singing works magically just right on those cuts somehow,

A few years ago we had a "Weaving" thread here and I proposed Hunter/Wagner as a prime example.

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Naturalust ()
Date: August 23, 2014 01:08

Quote
Palace Revolution 2000
Quote
Naturalust
Quote
Palace Revolution 2000
What a loss. I remember him mainly for the Hunter/Wagner team on the Lou Reed albums. 'R&R Animal' and 'Live'.

Thanks for that info, I was totally infatuated by the Sweet Jane intro on that record and spent some hours learning it note for note by lifting the needle off the record. I always thought it was Steve Hunter who played the amazing lead parts but I guess I'll have to acknowledge Mr. Wagner now too. peace

yes Natural. I think Hunter plays most the leads on the whole album. One can hear his LP. To me it always sounds like DW was playing an SG. The best thing about that duo, and esp, those albums is to listen to both of them on each side of stereo, and see them swapping off. DW often has a phaser on. That intro - while SH is playing the solos and the chief melody, DW's parts are as essential.
You most likely have already checked this out, but if not: on the 'Live" album they do a version of "Oh Jim" that escalates into one of those classic guitar solo battles where they throw lines at each other; back and forth. Great!

Thanks again! I haven't checked out the Live album but I definitely will. Never much liked Lou Reeds vocals... peace

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: polythene sam ()
Date: August 23, 2014 23:24

They both played Les Paul Juniors on R'n'R Animal and Live

Re: OT: Classic sessionman guitarist Dick Wagner RIP
Posted by: Rank Stranger ()
Date: September 20, 2014 12:57

Re-Release coming:

[www.amazon.com]



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