The news of Wagner’s passing broke via his website when the following message was posted to fans:
“It is with a heavy heart and great sorrow we have to let you know that Dick Wagner has left this world. Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life. His creativity and passion will live on forever in the legacy he has left for us, in his music and his words. We have so much of him to celebrate. Dick was prolific not only in the tangible realm of what we can see and hear but in the boundless energy of his spirit, which will never die. He was a fighter, but in the end his body couldn’t keep up with his spirit, and so he lays to rest. Dick said in 2013, ‘Love is in the air. Breathe deep.’ Take Dick’s advice into your own hearts, and notice all of the beauty in the world, even when it seems cruel and unfair.”
Wagner was born in Iowa and grew up around Saginaw, Mich., and was first introduced to rock ‘n’ roll audiences in the late-‘60s with the Bossmen and later the Frost. In the mid-‘70s, he was asked to join Alice Cooper’s band on guitar and also co-wrote key songs with the Coop, including “Welcome to My Nightmare” and “Only Women Bleed.” On top of his work with Cooper, Wagner’s career brought him in contact with Peter Gabriel, Kiss and Lou Reed, among others.
“Dick Wagner and I shared as many laughs as we did hit records. He was one of a kind. He is irreplaceable,” Cooper said in a post on his official Facebook page . “His brand of playing and writing is not seen anymore, and there are very few people that I enjoyed working with as much as I enjoyed working with Dick Wagner.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wagner’s family and friends during the difficult time.