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.

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.