Ricky Gardiner, guitarist for David Bowie and Iggy Pop, dies aged 73

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Ricky Gardiner, the guitarist who performed classical riffs for albums including David Bowie’s Low and Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, has died aged 73.

Producer Tony Visconti announced the quality connected societal media, saying Gardiner’s woman had informed him. He described Gardiner, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, arsenic a “guitar genius”.

Born successful Edinburgh successful 1948, his archetypal large set was the prog stone radical Beggars Opera, who formed successful 1969. Beginning with Act One the pursuing year, helium recorded six albums with the band, who became a cult favourite crossed Europe, peculiarly successful Germany.

He was invited to play guitar connected Tony Visconti’s solo medium Inventory, and Visconti suggested that helium execute connected David Bowie’s Low – Bowie past invited him to articulation the signaling sessions astatine a chateau adjacent Paris, successful 1977, aboriginal moving to Hansa studios successful Berlin. Gardiner played pb guitar connected the album’s archetypal half, including the cheerful, whimsical pb enactment connected Sound and Vision, the fanfare-like riff for opening way Speed of Life, and the cosmic solo connected Always Crashing successful the Same Car.

The Bowie recordings brought him into the orbit of different star, Iggy Pop, and helium toured with Bowie and Pop for the latter’s medium The Idiot, with Bowie connected keyboards. On this famously debauched tour, Gardiner preferred to instrumentality aboriginal greeting walks – “If others utilized [drugs], they indispensable person been discreet. I bask the occasional portion but I would beryllium rather blessed if intoxicant was returned to its rightful spot successful the laboratory,” helium aboriginal said.

He past played guitar and contributed songwriting connected the Bowie-produced Iggy Pop medium Lust for Life aboriginal successful 1977, describing the penning and signaling sessions arsenic “a joy”.

Among Gardiner’s contributions is simply a riff regarded to beryllium 1 of the simplest and top of each time: the swaggering three-note motif for The Passenger, which came to him successful bucolic surroundings not usually associated with Pop. “The pome trees were successful bloom and I was doodling connected the guitar arsenic I gazed astatine the trees,” Gardiner aboriginal said. “I was not paying immoderate attraction to what I was playing. I was successful a airy imagination enjoying the glorious outpouring morning. At a definite constituent my receptor caught the chord sequence.”

He besides co-wrote the songs Success and Neighbourhood Threat, and played drums connected the closing jam Fall successful Love With Me. “Lust for Life benefited from a batch of spontaneity and was mostly recorded arsenic the satellite was waxing towards full,” helium aboriginal explained. “The opus Success epitomises this jubilant vigor and the medium connected the full shows imaginative qualities accordant with this rising lunar energy.”

Iggy Pop paid tribute to Gardiner, writing: “Dearest Ricky, lovely, beauteous man, shirtless successful your coveralls, nicest feline who ever played guitar.”

Gardiner became a begetter and didn’t proceed to circuit with Bowie and Pop. He acceptable up his ain workplace and began exploring the possibilities of integer production, occasionally releasing albums with collaborators – including his woman Virginia Scott – specified arsenic the ambient task Kumara. In 1995, helium released Auschwitz, an instrumental enactment marking the 50th day of the camp’s liberation that helium regarded arsenic his astir important solo work.

He was diagnosed with electrosensitivity successful 1998, which made him consciousness unwell erstwhile successful proximity to physics devices – helium had to accommodate his location workplace to accommodate the illness. As good arsenic signaling his ain versions of The Passenger, successful his aboriginal years helium returned to the Beggars Opera project, releasing 7 further albums.

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