Robert Quine dead
A real loss. He can't have been very old, and no idea how this happened yet. Some great unsung guitar work (Matthew Sweet, etc.), plus the stuff we all know...
Quine obit in NY Times
Robert Quine, 61, Punk Rock Guitarist, Dies
By BEN SISARIO
Published: June 8, 2004
Robert Quine, a noted guitarist of the New York
rock scene of the 1970's and 80's who played with
Richard Hell, Lou Reed and others, died last week
in his home in Manhattan. He was 61.
He was found dead by the police on Saturday, said
James Marshall, a friend. The police found a note
and said they believed the death was a suicide
but are awaiting a medical examiner's report. Mr.
Marshall said he believed Mr. Quine died on May
In the loud world of New York punk, where crude
simplicity trumped most conventional notions of
musical skill, Mr. Quine stood out as a stylish
virtuoso. His guitar, first heard on "Blank
Generation," the 1977 album by Richard Hell and
the Voidoids, borrowed equally from rockabilly,
jazz and the Velvet Underground, giving the music
a quick, agitated pulse and an explosive power.
"He was an extraordinary mixture of taste,
intelligence and rock 'n' roll abilities, coupled
with major technique and a scholar's memory for
every decent guitar lick ever played under the
musical sun," Mr. Reed said.
The Voidoids made only two albums, but Mr.
Quine's versatility gave him a long career as a
sideman and studio guitarist. Hired by Lou Reed
to play on his stark 1982 album "The Blue Mask,"
Mr. Quine played in a style that was more
restrained and atmospheric. Rolling Stone praised
the guitar work on the album, saying in a review
that "the intuitive responsiveness between Lou
Reed and Robert Quine is a quiet summit of
guitarists' interplay: the notes and noise soar
and dive, scudding almost formlessly until
they're suddenly caught up in the focus of a
Mr. Quine was an anomaly in the punk scene. Older
than most of his fellow musicians, he had a law
degree and was nearly bald, and wore button-down
shirts and sport coats and described his
appearance as that of a "deranged insurance
Before he moved to New York in 1971, he was a
great fan of the Velvet Underground, Mr. Reed's
groundbreaking 1960's art-rock band, and attended
dozens of its concerts in St. Louis and on the
West Coast, dutifully recording them with a
hand-held cassette deck. Some of those recordings
were released in 2001 as a three-CD set, "Bootleg
Series, Vol. 1: The Quine Tapes."
In New York Mr. Quine became involved with the
rock scene around 1975 after taking a job at
Cinemabilia, a Greenwich Village bookstore. Mr.
Hell and Tom Verlaine, who then played together
in the band Television, worked at the store, and
when Mr. Hell, a bassist, started the Voidoids,
he recruited Mr. Quine.
Besides his work with the Voidoids and Mr. Reed,
Mr. Quine also played with Marianne Faithfull,
Material, James Chance, Tom Waits, Brian Eno and
John Zorn. In the 90's he played extensively with
Matthew Sweet and Lloyd Cole. He also made duo
recordings with the guitarist Jody Harris and the
drummer Fred Maher.
The four original members of the Voidoids Mr.
Hell, Mr. Quine, Ivan Julian and Marc Bell
reunited to record a song, "Oh," which was
released on the 2001 compilation album "Beyond
Born in Akron, Ohio, Mr. Quine graduated from
Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., and the
Washington University law school in St. Louis.
Mr. Quine's wife, Alice, died last August. His
uncle, the philosopher W. V. Quine, died in 2000.
He is survived by a brother, William, of Visalia,
You either got it honey, or you ain't...
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