Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Gary Duncan, RIP
Gary Duncan, guitarist/vocalist for legendary psychedelic rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service, has passed away, following a seizure as a result of a fall. His Quicksilver bandmate David Freiberg confirmed the news to Rolling Stone, and said, "I’ve always thought of Gary as the engine of the original four-piece group. He kind of taught me by osmosis, as I was a folkie 12-string guitar finger-picker, how to become a part of the machine. I felt he was always underrated as a guitarist. His solos with QMS were some of the finest ever. He was an amazingly talented musician – one of the best." He was 72.
Before forming Quicksilver with Freiberg, John Cipollina, Greg Elmore, and Jim Murray in 1965, Duncan had been playing in the garage rock band The Brogues, along with future Quicksilver member Greg Elmore. He played on Quicksilver's classic first two albums, 1968's self-titled and 1969's Happy Trails, but then briefly left the band around the time they were recording 1969's Shady Grove, and soon rejoined and stayed with them until their 1979 breakup. In the '80s, Duncan started his own version of the band called Gary Duncan's Quicksilver, and in 2006, he and Freiberg reunited the band and began touring again.
Quicksilver emerged out of the same Bay Area psychedelic rock scene as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, and they performed at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival. Though they're a lesser known band these days than some of their former peers, their classic recordings are still essential and they hold up very well. Listen to some classic songs and watch some classic videos below.
Rest in peace, Gary. You'll be missed.