RIDGEWOOD, NJ - APRIL 13: Musician/songwriter Dick Wagner promotes the new book "Not Only Women Bleed" at Bookends Bookstore on April 13, 2013 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)Getty Images/Mike Coppola
Dick Wagner, who grew up in Saginaw Michigan and first came to the attention of us here in Detroit with his band The Frost, died yesterday at the age of 71 in Arizona. Wagner played guitar and wrote songs with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, KISS and Aerosmith.
Alice Cooper and Steve Hunter — his guitar partner with both Lou Reed and Alice during the mid-1970s — have posted Facebook comments about Dick Wagner.
Cooper calls Wagner “one of a kind” and “irreplaceable” and says they “shared as many laughs as [they] did hit records.” He also credits a lot of his solo success to their relationship — “not just on stage, but in the studio and writing. Some of my biggest singles were ballads that I wrote with Dick Wagner. Most of Welcome to My Nightmarewas written with Dick. There was just a magic in the way we wrote together. He was always able to find exactly the right chord to match perfectly with what I was doing. I think that we always think our friends will be around as long as we are, so to hear of Dick’s passing comes as a sudden shock and an enormous loss for me, rock and roll and to his family.”
Hunter says that he and Wagner “had a thing when we played together like none other I’ve experienced…We hardly ever had to work anything out…we just did it and it was always right. It was truly a phenomenon. There was always mutual respect. After 1978 we went our separate ways but always stayed in loose touch.” He concludes, “The stuff we did together back in the ’70s was really and truly magical. With much love and respect, rest in peace my dear old compadre.”