Suicide at CBs in 1986. Single best slight bit of interaction I’ve ever had with a band as they play. I’m in the front row still wearing the red Gap sweatshirt and brown cords my mom sent me away to the big city in and I’m going nuts and Alan Vega puts the mic in my face to have me shout into it, right into the reverb soaked thing, during I think it was “Ghost Rider,” as Rev pounds away making this accompanying swirling sound that no one else ever made before or since this cloud of future noise that also seemed like a calliope or something — hand cranked but also menacing. You have heard this band I don’t need to say that. Anyway so I yell into it, but not too loud. So Rev looks at me, shakes his head to say no that wasn’t good enough kid, then puts the mic back in my face one more time. So now I look at him and yell as loud and deep as I can, for maybe fifteen seconds, and he smiles and starts to sing again. That little interaction made me so fucking happy, it’s hard to explain. Didn’t hurt they were the best live band right then — just as they were the handful of times I saw play here and there over the next fifteen years. — MIKE MCGONIGAL (YETI,┬áCHEMICAL IMBALANCE, ETC)

It’s not sad to die. What’s sad is to not really live while you’re alive. I read that Alan Vega was still making music and painting right up to the end, and that all his life he only did what he wanted and didn’t do anything he didn’t want to. I love that. — LISA CARVER (SUCKDOG)

Suicide changed my life.I had no idea music could be so human, so free and have so much substance untill i heard the first self titled record around 17 years old.First it was hearing Velvet Underground then Suicide.Alan Vega made music that will last forever because he did it because he had to,because it was a way to escape.And thats what real timeless music is inspired by.I just feel lucky to be able to live in a time when I was able to be inspired to make my own music by such a great artist.RIP Alan Vega — TREVER MILLAY (YOU.)

I guess I’m just going to have to accept that every important artist is going to die this year. As always, the work remains, and in the case of Alan Vega, it’s a great deal more than 1 Suicide LP. — STALLONE Z REDUCER (JACKIE O’BODYS SCHOOL OF DANCE)


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