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Glenn Branca RIP
The Quietus , May 14th, 2018 21:08

6th October 1948 - 13th May 2018

New York No Wave instigator, composer and guitarist Glenn Branca has died of throat cancer at the age of 69, Billboard reports. The news was revealed by Branca's collaborator Reg Bloor, who wrote a statement on his Facebook page. On the statement, Bloor wrote that according to Branca's personal wishes there would be no public memorial service before going on to pay tribute: "I feel grateful to have been able to live and work with such an amazing source of ideas and creativity for the past 18 1/2 years," Bloor wrote. "His musical output was a fraction of the ideas he had in a given day. His influence on the music world is incalculable. Despite his gruff exterior, he was a deeply caring and fiercely loyal man. We lived in our own little world together. I love him so much. I'm absolutely devastated. He lived a very full life and had no regrets. Thank you to all the fans and all of the musicians whose support made that possible."

Branca grew up in the post-industrial landscape of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, first buying a guitar when he heard The Kinks' 'You Really Got Me' on the radio. "I wasn't really into rock & roll. But then all of a sudden along comes this thing and it's entirely different from anything anyone had ever done before," he told The Quietus in 2013."It just jumped out of the radio. Then I started to become interested." That moment was the catalyst for decades of invention and collaboration, through Theoretical Girls, the Neutral Records label to The Glenn Branca Ensemble and the huge guitar orchestras that would feature as many as 100 musicians. Speaking in that 2013 interview, Branca railed against the difficulties facing contemporary experimental musicians and asserted his strong sense of individualism and creative intent: "I like to take people somewhere," he said. "I like to fuck with people's heads".

Branca had a profound influence on much of the music we love at The Quietus. Speaking just a few weeks ago, Thurston Moore ex of Sonic Youth told us that "From Glenn I learned that focus and dedication can result in a stunning new sound world. Glenn came out of a radical theatre group (Bastard Theater) from Boston, Massachusetts and presented himself in a somewhat wild, performative manner, some kind speed freak contrarian maestro. It was very exciting and unlike anyone else’s work."