NEW YORK -- Dick Wagner, the skilled guitarist who worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss and Aerosmith and who also co-wrote many of Cooper's hits, died of respiratory failure Wednesday, his manager and business partner said Friday. He was 71.
Susan Michelson, Wagner's partner in Desert Dreams Productions, said the performer died at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center in Arizona. He had been there for three weeks, Michelson said.
Wagner was born Dec. 14, 1942, and grew up in Michigan. He went on tour with Reed in 1973 and joined Cooper a year later, his website states. He co-wrote the Cooper hits "Only Women Bleed," "You and Me," and "I Never Cry."
The website states the guitarist had many health issues, surviving two heart attacks, a stroke, a paralyzed left arm, kidney failure and diabetes.
"Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life," Wagner's family and Desert Dreams said in a joint statement. "His creativity and passion will live on forever in the legacy he has left for us, in his music and his words. We have so much of him to celebrate."
In the 1960s, Wagner formed the band The Bossmen in Michigan, but his first real taste of success came when he formed The Frost. The group's albums placed on the Billboard charts.
He later moved to New York and formed Ursa Major, a short-lived band that included Billy Joel on keyboard.
Metro on 08/03/2014
Print Headline: Guitarist, songwriter with Alice Cooper