Ricky Gardiner, guitarist for David Bowie and Iggy Pop, has died

Ricky Gardiner, the musician best known for playing with David Bowie and Iggy Pop, has died.

The 73-year-old “guitar genius” “has ended a long battle with Parkinson’s,” producer Tony Visconti wrote on Facebook after being informed by Gardiner’s widow, Virginia Scott.

Iggy Pop went on to write a touching tribute to his friend Twitter when he found out about his death. “Dearest Ricky, lovely lovely man, shirtless in your overalls, nicest guy who ever played guitar. Thanks for the memories and the songs, rest in peace forever.”

Gardiner was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1948 and became a self-taught musician from an early age.

He joined his first major rock band, Beggars Opera, in 1969 and recorded six albums with the band, which became a cult favorite across Europe.

The aspiring musician was then invited to play on Tony Visconti’s solo album Inventory, which led to his acquaintance with Bowie. Visconti co-produced Bowie’s Low album and got Gardiner to play lead guitar on the first half of the iconic album.

Gardiner worked with Bowie and was linked to Iggy Pop. Struggling with sobriety, Bowie toured with Iggy Pop for his album The Idiot, bringing Gardiner with him.

The trio continued to work together, while Gardiner played guitar and drums and contributed to the songwriting on the Bowie-produced 1977 Iggy Pop album Lust for Life.

Gardiner is credited with creating the three-note riff for “The Passenger,” which Bowie’s biographer David Buckley has described as “one of the greatest riffs of all time.”

Despite his success, Gardiner stopped touring when he married Virginia Scott and began raising a family. He set up his own private studio and recorded meditation music and songs with his wife and children.

Recording music became increasingly difficult for the famous guitarist when he was diagnosed with electrosensitivity in 1998. The rare health condition made him ill when in close proximity to electronic devices.

Gardiner was able to re-establish his personal studio and continued making music, recording his own versions of The Passenger and returning to his Beggars Opera work. His last work came in 2015 with his solo album “Songs For The Electric”.

In recent years, Gardiner has become increasingly ill after being diagnosed with a very rare form of Parkinson’s disease known as PSP. Over the past four years he has “suffered terribly in his final years” and “lost mobility, speech and required 24-hour care” but has “remained stoic, strong and determined to the end,” according to his daughter Annie, who also a songwriter, shared on Twitter.

He died at his home on May 13, surrounded by his family.

β€œHe was the best father anyone could ask for. He taught me everything from using power tools, to a recording studio, both analog and digital, to changing an air filter on a car engine (although I was terrible at it), to playing bass guitar, musical improvisation, songwriting and production methods. Annie wrote.

“He was kind, generous, thoughtful, insightful, patient, enthusiastic, a rebel, didn’t take fools, didn’t give in — what people thought, loved a good conversation and loved his food!”

Tom Gardiner honored his father in a touching Instagram post, in which he recalled his “super funny” dad and best friend.

“It was his spiritual side that really inspired me and taught me so much. We talked for hours about the meaning of life, meditation, astrology, you name it, it was always an open book.”

Leave a Comment