A heroin overdose is suspected as the cause of death...

Punk rock guitarist ROBERT QUINE has been found dead in NEW YORK.

According to close friend Rick Kelly, who discovered 61 year-old Quine’s body last Saturday (June 5), the musician died of a heroin overdose in his New York apartment. He had been despondent over the recent death of his wife, Billboard reports.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Quine was a huge fan of Velvet Underground, whose music he recorded obsessively while living in San Francisco. He moved to New York in 1971 and became the lead guitarist for bassist Richard Hell’s group The Voidoids, with whom he recorded two albums.

During the Eighties, Quine recorded and toured frequently with Lou Reed and played on saxophonist/composer John Zorn’s best-known albums. Quine also made guest appearances on Tom Waits‘ ‘Rain Dogs’ (1985) and Marianne Faithfull’s ‘Strange Weather’ (1987). In 1989, he began a long association with Matthew Sweet, and also worked regularly with Lloyd Cole.

In 2001, Universal released a three-CD box of Quine’s live 1969 recordings of Velvet Underground, ‘The Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes’.

“Robert Quine was a magnificent guitar player – an original and innovative tyro of the vintage beast,” Lou Reed said in a statement. “He was an extraordinary mixture of taste, intelligence and rock’n’roll abilities coupled with major technique and a scholar’s memory for every decent guitar lick ever played under the musical son. He made tapes for me for which I am eternally grateful – tapes of the juiciest parts of solos from players long gone.”