Q Lazzarus, enigmatic “Goodbye Horses” singer, has died
Diane Luckey, the enigmatic musician who recorded and performed as Q Lazzarus and whose single "Goodbye Horses" was famously used in Silence of the Lambs, has died. Luckey died on July 19 at age 61.
As Q Lazzarus, Luckey only ever officially released one single, but it has had a long life. "Goodbye Horses" first appeared on the soundtrack to Jonathan Demme's 1988 film, Married to the Mob, but it was when Demme used the song again in his next film, 1991's Silence of the Lambs, that it entered cult status. The haunting club track accompanies the scene where serial killer Buffalo Bob (Ted Levine) dances to the song and tucks his genitals between his legs in his basement lair.
Demme, who had first used Q Lazzarus song “Candle Goes Away” in 1986's Something Wild, had her appear in 1993's Philadelphia in a party scene performing a cover of Talking Heads' "Heaven," but after that Luckey stopped performing and all but disappeared. Meanwhile the cult around "Goodbye Horses" grew; Mon Amie Records reissued the single in 2017, and got Jon Hopkins and Wild Beasts' Hayden Thorpe to cover the song.
Then in 2019, writer Kelsey Chapstick wrote a feature for Dazed Digital, "Searching for Q Lazzarus," where it was revealed that Luckey was alive and well and living in Staten Island, and had been working as a bus driver. But she soon disappeared back into private life.
Here is more about Luckey from the obituary on NJ's Jackson Funeral Home:
Following in the footsteps of her parents and sisters, Diane loved music and singing from a very young age and was part of the Mount Pisgah Youth Choir. After seeing the Broadway musical, “Bubbling Brown Sugar” in New York City while on a class field trip, she decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to singing. She moved to New York City when she was eighteen and immediately started working at Sigma Sounds Studio as a backup singer and writing jingles for commercials. Shortly thereafter, she started writing songs, recording music, and headlining concerts under the name Q Lazzarus. Diane was a multi-talented instrumentalist, writing lyrics and singing, playing guitar and piano and producing as well.
Diane’s song “Goodbye Horses,” became an instant hit, which generated a large following that continues to this day. She appeared in the movie Philadelphia during a party scene with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, singing the Talking Heads song “Heaven.”
Diane also spent several years in London where she fronted the rock and roll band Q Lazzarus where she wrote dozens of songs and toured the United Kingdom. She also performed at and hosted many parties at large clubs and arenas in London and collaborated with her friend Danny Z on house music tracks when back in the United States.
For fans who've always wanted to know more about Q Lazzarus, the obituary notes, "At the time of her death, Diane was finishing work on a feature documentary about her life and music with filmmaker and friend, Eva Aridjis. The film will be released in 2023, along with an album of songs spanning her entire musical career."
Rest in peace, Diane.
This post originally had Diane's age as 59, but Rolling Stone confirmed that her original obituary had her birth year wrong and she was in fact 61 at time of death.