Alan Rankine of The Associates has died aged 64

After his time in the band, he worked as a producer, solo artist, lecturer and more

Alan Rankine, guitarist of Scottish band The Associates, has died aged 64.

The news was confirmed by Rankine’s sons Callum and Hamish today (January 3). “He died peacefully at home shortly after spending Christmas with his family,” the sons said in a statement. “He was a beautiful, kind and loving man who will be sorely missed.”

Rankine formed The Associates in the late 1970s with singer Billy Mackenzie, going on to release three albums, ‘The Affectionate Punch’ (1980), singles compilation ‘Fourth Drawer Down’ (1981) and ‘Sulk’ (1982).

After leaving the band in 1982, Rankine became a successful producer and worked on albums by Cocteau Twins and more, before launching a solo career in 1986.

Later in life, he lectured at Glasgow’s Stow College, helping students set up the Electric Honey record, which was instrumental in launching the careers of Biffy Clyro, Belle & Sebastian and Snow Patrol.

Others to pay tribute to Rankine include BMX Bandits singer Duglas T Stewart, who tweeted: “Very sad news today that Alan Rankine has died,” he wrote on Twitter. I first became aware of Alan through The Associates and later got to know him a little. Sending love to his family and all who loved him.”

Scottish journalist John Dingwall added: “Very sad to hear the news that my dear friend Alan Rankine of The Associates has died. We lived around the corner from each other and had planned to meet for a coffee. RIP Alan Rankine, a beautiful soul, and condolences to all his family.”

Meanwhile, Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins and Lost Horizons said: “Devastated RIP Alan you left us with such majesty, such beauty, and we are only enriched massively by what you and Billy created +still such a huge part of my life & I have no idea how you did half of it! Terrible start to the year. Deepest condolences to family.”

Christopher Connolly, founder of the Scottish electronic dance group Finitribe, said he was “utterly devastated to learn that Alan Rankine has passed. His incredible, breathtaking music lifted our hearts with the voice of the incomparable Billy Mackenzie in The Associates, a huge, huge part of the beating musical heart of Scotland.”

Writer and poet Kevin Gilday said: “Gutted to hear about Alan Rankine. One of Scotland’s most overlooked musical geniuses, IMO. And what an absolutely beautiful man he was to boot.”

Music writer Graeme Thomson said: “He was an unbelievably talented musician (Associates producer Mike Hedges called him ‘a maestro at pretty much everything.’) It was a joy to talk to him a few months ago about the making of Party Fears Two.”

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