R.I.P. DICK WAGNER, Former Alice Cooper Guitarist
Wagner, who was also part of the groups The Frost and Ursa Major, had been hospitalized after contracting a lung infection following heart surgery in early July. Though he had posted a Facebook message on July 21 saying "I can't wait to play for you all again one day soon" -- signed "Dick'N THE ICU" -- Wagner was in a medically induced coma at the time of his death from respiratory failure.
"Dick Wagner was the consummate gentleman axeman. (He) will be missed," Kiss' Gene Simmons said in a statement on Wednesday, noting that Wagner played the "blistering" guitar solo on the Destroyer track "Sweet Pain." Kiss frontman Paul Stanley had this to say: "Dick was a stellar player and his work with Steve Hunter on Lou Reed's Rock&Roll Animal is legendary. He also did great work with Alice Cooper and uncredited ghosting on Destroyer and albums by some of our contemporaries. A huge talent with a huge tone and huge heart. A great unsung hero."