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Ricky Gardiner dies at 73

Celebrated Berlin-era pop guitarist Ricky Gardner has died at the age of 73.

The death of the lead guitarist, who defined an era with his distinctive playing style alongside David Bowie and Iggy Pop, was announced on Facebook by his producer Tony Visconti. Tony Visconti announced that he was notified by the late instrumentalist’s wife, Victoria.

Tributes have since trailed the announcement of his death across different social media platforms. Reacting to the news of the death,  Iggy Pop described his playing partner as “the nicest guy who ever played the guitar.” “Thanks for the memories and the songs, rest eternal in peace.”, he wrote on Twitter.

Born 1948 in Edinburg, Scotland, Gardener was a self-taught musician who started playing in school bands and Vostoks at the age of 14. He picked up from there to team up with vocalist Martin Griffiths, bassist Marshall Erskine, keyboardist Alan Park, and Drummer Raymond Wilson to form the popular band, Beggars Opera in 1969. The band was very successful in the late 70s and early 80s as they recorded several albums and hit singles together before members of the group started seeking other adventures.

Gardiner would later join David Bowie and Iggy Pop forming a group known for their era-defining tour performances. After many years of successful tours, Gardener abandoned touring for studio work in the early 80s to allow him time with his family. He later went on to release a studio guitar album, The Flood, in 1985, and another, “The Symphony” in 1987.

Gardiner was later reported to have developed electromagnetic hypersensitivity as a result of his many years of exposure to computer radiation and magnetic fields. Though he continued making music privately, he reduced his interaction with electronic instruments.

Gardiner died on Friday 13th May 2022 after a reported long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

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