Mazzy Star co-founder David Roback has died. He was 61 years old.
Representatives for the band confirmed the news to Pitchfork. A cause of death was not announced.
The Los Angeles musician co-founded Mazzy Star with singer Hope Sandoval in 1989. Prior to that, he was heavily involved in LA’s Paisley Underground scene: Roback also co-founded and released an album with Rain Parade, and played alongside Sandoval in the band Opal (from which Mazzy Star emerged).
Mazzy Star – which was a full band, though led by Roback and Sandoval – released their debut album ‘She Hangs Brightly’ on Rough Trade in 1990. They followed that up in 1993 with ‘So Tonight That I Might See’, which featured their best-known song, ‘Fade Into You’. In 1996, they released the album ‘Among My Swan’, and went on hiatus shortly after.
In the late 2000s, Mazzy Star reunited, and in 2013 released ‘Seasons Of Your Day’, which remains their latest album. In 2018 they put out the EP ‘Still’, which was partly recorded with Mazzy Star’s late drummer Keith Mitchell, who had died in 2017.
Many musicians, including those involved in the Paisley Underground scene, have paid tribute to Roback on social media.
“Peace and love David Roback…” The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs wrote on Twitter. She also played in one of Roback’s earliest bands, Rainy Day and The Unconscious. “My first musical partner and my very dear friend. You will be eternally missed.”
Peace and love David Roback…
my first musical partner and my very dear friend. You will be eternally missed. ? pic.twitter.com/mO1MnLDCOG
— Susanna Hoffs (@SusannaHoffs) February 25, 2020
In a Facebook post, Steve Wynn of The Dream Syndicate remembered his connection to Roback. “It’s weird. I never knew David Roback that well. But I loved his songs and guitar playing and of course his band and mine shared a special time together… RIP David Roback. We didn’t hang much but you were my friend.”
It’s weird. I never knew David Roback that well. But I loved his songs and guitar playing and of course his band and…
oh no! Terrible, sad news. Rain Parade, Opal, Mazzy Star. We've lost a great one. Safe travels, David. https://t.co/inbW2g9Ctn
— colin meloy (@colinmeloy) February 25, 2020
This is awful. From Rain Parade to Clay Allison to Rainy Day to Opal to Mazzy Star, I’ve loved everything he’s ever been a part of. Have you ever listened to Opal’s ‘Happy Nightmare Baby’ LP? You should. RIP David Roback. https://t.co/6iMTrvH2jk
— Carl Newman (@ACNewman) February 25, 2020
I love a lot of Mazzy Star songs but I don’t know what I would do without Fade Into You. RIP David Roback. Thank you for the music ??
— SLEIGH BELLS (@sleighbells) February 25, 2020