Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore, John Lurie & more artists pay tribute to Glenn Branca
Today came the sad news that avant-garde guitarist and composer Glenn Branca passed away. Glenn inspired so much great music over the years, so it’s no surprise that tributes are pouring in from all different types of musicians. Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, who was in one of Glenn Branca’s early ensembles and performed on his classic album The Ascension, posted the following on Instagram: “The beginning of my time in New York, 1979-1980, would have been nothing without the genius work that Glenn Branca was doing at that time. The most radical, intelligent response to punk and the avant garde I’d ever seen. Sad to hear of his passing today.” You can see his full post with two pictures, below.
Lee’s Sonic Youth bandmate Thurston Moore posted a photo on Facebook of him performing with Glenn, and wrote: “Love and good energy to Reg Bloor and all Glenn’s friends and family. The man’s creative light and spiritual aesthetic he’d continually express in his work was, in all truth, a defining inspiration for many of us. I’ll always reflect fondly our friendship through the years. A lot of the early and mid 1980s we’d pal around discussing and listening to the nether margins of recorded music and literature, arguing, debating, laughing, yelling. His bristling irascibility was a good thing, in my book. A genuine explorer, living the life of an artist, in all its resplendent poverty, with authentic devotion to sharing sound as a sentient and intellectual force. And a brilliant iconoclast and individual – I’ll always be grateful to being in his company. Glenn considered the sonic arrow to the sky, opening the gates of heaven, and he made it.” See his full post below.
Also below, you can see tributes from actor/musician John Lurie (The Lounge Lizards, Stranger than Paradise, Down by Law, etc), Cedric Bixler Zavala (At the Drive In, Mars Volta), Geoff Rickly (Thursday), Ryley Walker, Blanck Mass, Sarah Lipstate (Noveller), Chris Traynor (Orange 9mm, Helmet), Hookworms, Greys, and more.
The beginning of my time in New York, 1979-1980, would have been nothing without the genius work that Glenn Branca was doing at that time. The most radical, intelligent response to punk and the avant garde I’d ever seen. Sad to hear of his passing today. First pic, the ‘Ascension band’ when I joined: myself, Glenn, Ned Sublette, David Rosenbloom and Jeffrey Glenn. Drummer Stephan Wischerth not pictured. Second pic: me playing Glenn’s ‘Harmonical ‘ (2×4 w nodal bridges and multiple pickups) circa 1981 or 82.
The X Magazine benefit in 1979 was perhaps the most amazing series of concerts that I have ever seen.
Glenn Branca, playing with Theoretical Girls was the best band in the program. It changed my life. Sorry I never had a chance to tell him.
— John Lurie (@lurie_john) May 14, 2018
— CEDRIC BIXLER ZAVALA (@cedricbixler_) May 14, 2018
RIP Glenn Branca.
A personal hero and one of the true hidden forces of musical history. Nothing would've been the same without you. https://t.co/EoOqz3JYo2
— Geoffrey Rickly (@GeoffRickly) May 14, 2018
RIP MR GLENN BRANCA. KIDS- PUT HIS REKKIDS ON. CHANGED MY LIFE!!!!!
— Ryley walker (@ryleywalker) May 14, 2018
Oh man, Glenn Branca. My thoughts are with Reg and all his friends and family. He was a lovely man and a gift to planet earth
— Blanck Mass (@BlanckMass) May 14, 2018
RIP Glenn Branca. An amazing composer with a huge influence on guitarists.
— Chris Traynor (@CT3GUITAR) May 14, 2018
I’m going to listen to The Spectacular Commodity on repeat today. RIP Glenn Branca. Your music changed the way I thought about the electric guitar. Performing your music live was one of the great honors of my life. #glennbranca pic.twitter.com/AuGli0a7WS
— Sarah Lipstate (@sarahlipstate) May 14, 2018
Thank You Glenn Branca
— HOOKWORMS (@HOOKWORMS) May 14, 2018
whoa, glenn branca. had been listening to this record a bunch while writing lately. legend. RIP. https://t.co/0uSCxx68M2
— Greys (@greysband) May 14, 2018
— ISSUE Project Room (@issueproject) May 14, 2018
Rest in peace, Glenn Branca. His work meant a ton to us, giving way to our band name. A very sad day for us all. https://t.co/osjoPqMJFL
— Slow Mass (@SlowMassMusic) May 14, 2018