Suicide’s Alan Vega dies aged 78

Alan Vega: 1938-2016
Alan Vega: 1938-2016 (Image credit: Getty)

Suicide vocalist Alan Vega has died at the age of 78.

The news was confirmed by Henry Rollins, who issued a statement on behalf of the singer’s family on his website.

It reads: “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.

“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.”

Born Boruch Alan Bermowitz, Vega teamed up with Rev in the 70s and the duo were hailed as pioneers of both punk and electronic music and known for their intense live performances. They went on to release five studio albums, their last being 2002’s American Supreme.

Vega also had a prolific solo career, releasing 18 records between 1980 and 2010, and was known for his art which included light sculptures made up from old TVs, fluorescent lights and assorted street junk.

In 2012, he suffered a stroke and heart attack which forced him to cut back on his musical output.

Vega is survived by wife Liz and son Dante.

Suicide: The terrifying world of NYC's outsider punks

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.