14 Stories

3 Doors Down Guitarist Dies at 38

Matt Roberts was found dead in a Wisconsin hotel; drug overdose is suspected

(Newser) - Matt Roberts, the lead guitarist for 3 Doors Down from the group's founding in 1996 until he left for health reasons in 2012, was found dead Saturday in a Wisconsin hotel, reports Rolling Stone . He was 38. "I was wakened at 8:50 this morning by some detectives... More »

Eric Clapton Now Struggles to Play Guitar

71-year-old guitar legend has nerve damage

(Newser) - A tough break for Eric Clapton: The 71-year-old guitar legend says he now struggles to play at all because of nerve damage. "It started with lower back pain and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy—which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your... More »

Beastie Boy Who Named the Band Dies at Age 52

John Berry left the group shortly after first 7-inch EP was released

(Newser) - One of the original Beastie Boys—and the one said to have coined the hip-hop band's name—has died at the age of 52, Rolling Stone reports. Guitarist John Berry died at a Danvers, Mass., hospice Thursday, his stepmother, Louise Berry, tells the AP , noting that he had suffered... More »

Starship Guitarist Dies After Gig

Mark Abrahamian was 46

(Newser) - The lead guitarist for classic rock stalwart Starship collapsed and died from a heart attack after a concert in Nebraska Sunday night. Mark Abrahamian was just 46—youthful by the standards of Starship, whose forerunner, Jefferson Airplane, formed the year before Abrahamian was born. The guitarist, who had also played... More »

Folk Music Legend Doc Watson Dead at 89

Master flatpicker changed folk music forever

(Newser) - No history of American folk and country music would be complete without a mention of blind guitar wizard Doc Watson, who has died at the age of 89. His rapid-fire flatpicking style influenced generations of musicians, and helped elevate the guitar to lead instrument status in the country music of... More »

Guitarist Noel Gallagher Quits Oasis, Blames Brother Liam

(Newser) - After years of sibling rivalry that often escalated into brawls, guitarist Noel Gallagher quit the band Oasis today, the BBC reports, and blamed brother Liam. “It’s with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight,” Noel, who’s 6 years older than... More »

Les Paul's Genius Will Be Missed

(Newser) - Les Paul's death today at age 94 has the accolades pouring in:
  • Lou Carlozo, True/Slant: "The solid-body Les Paul guitar that Lester developed with Gibson in the early 1950s is rock and roll. Like the Fender Stratocaster, its shape is so synonymous with the genre that any musician can
... More »

Music Legend Les Paul Dead at 94

Inventor, guitarist 'changed the course of 20th-century popular music'

(Newser) - Musical innovator and guitar legend Les Paul died today in White Plains, NY. He was 94. A “virtuoso guitarist” himself, in the early 1940s Paul pioneered the “log” guitar, “probably the first solid-body electric guitar," writes Jon Pareles of the New York Times. His popular Gibson... More »

Johnny McCain No Goode for Chuck Berry

Rock 'n' roll legend is rooting for Obama to win the White House

(Newser) - Chuck Berry hopes Barack Obama will rock his way to victory in November—even though it's John McCain who used Berry's classic Johnny B. Goode as a theme song in the early days of the campaign. The McCain camp has since switched to Abba's Take a Chance On Me. Berry,... More »

Sibling Rivalry Still Driving Van Halen

Eddie and Alex started young, and still finding ways to hold it together on tour

(Newser) - Eddie Van Halen took time out from touring to ruminate on the band and his guitar virtuosity with Rolling Stone. Turns out, the Van Halen brothers actually started out on opposite instruments: “I bought myself a drum kit, and my mom convinced my brother Alex to take flamenco-guitar lessons.... More »

Bon Jovi Guitarist Cops DUI Deal

Richie Sambora dodges jail time for drunk-driving charge

(Newser) - Bon Jovi rocker Richie Sambora may have to take extra care next time he gets behind the wheel of a steel horse, but the axman will be staying out of jail after cutting a deal with prosecutors over drunk driving charges, E! Online reports. The guitarist, busted last month for... More »

Blind Guitarist Healey Dead at 41

Celebrated Canadian musician recalled for versatility

(Newser) - Acclaimed guitarist Jeff Healey died of cancer at 41 yesterday after battling the disease throughout his life, the Globe and Mail reports. Healey, who lost his eyesight as a child to retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, sold more than a million albums in the US, racking up hits such... More »

Keith Did, In Fact, Snort Dad

But Rolling Stone can’t get cocaine satisfaction

(Newser) - Keith Richards says that—reported denials aside—he did indeed snort his father’s ashes. The Rolling Stones sideman revealed in an interview yesterday that media reports had mixed up the story, and that he’d only meant to deny mixing the remains with a popular opiate. “I said... More »

PhD Will, PhD Will Rock You

Queen guitarist, 60, submits astronomy thesis after 36 years

(Newser) - Queen guitarist Brian May dropped his academic pursuits to tour the globe as a young rock star, but after 36 years he has finally handed in his PhD thesis, which he began researching in 1972. The 60-year-old aspiring astrophysicist delivered a 48,000-word study on "zodiacal dust clouds" to... More »

14 Stories