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Afghan Whigs Guitarist Dave Rosser Dies at 50

Variety logo Variety 6/28/2017 Erin Nyren
© Provided by Variety

Dave Rosser, guitarist for the Afghan Whigs, died Tuesday. He was 50.

“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our friend, brother and inspiration,” the band confirmed on Facebook. “Dave Rosser passed away peacefully last evening surrounded by love. Thank you to all who kept him in their hearts. He is forever in ours.” Rosser’s death follows a battle with colon cancer.

While not a founding member of the band, Rosser joined the Afghan Whigs on their 2014 album “Do to the Beast” after the departure of original guitarist Rick McCollum. The album marked the band’s first material in 16 years and a return to the Sub Pop roster. Rosser had also collaborated with frontman Greg Dulli on his side projects The Gutter Twins and the Twilight Singers.

Rosser was also a guitarist and composer on albums for Tim Heidecker and Ani DiFranco.

The band announced in October that Rosser was combating inoperable colon cancer. Two months later, the Whigs staged two benefit concerts with lineups including Moby and Eagles of Death Metal to help ease Rosser’s medical bills.

Rosser continued to participate in the band after his cancer diagnosis, including playing on the Whigs’ 2017 album, “In Spades,” although he was unable to tour with the band to support the album. In early May, Rosser told Guitar World in an interview that he was hopeful he’d be able to join the group on at least a few of their European dates.

Producer Rick G. Nelson, a frequent collaborator with Rosser, first announced the news in a Facebook post. Rosser’s friend and former bandmate in My Jerusalem Jeff Klein also confirmed the news with a tribute to Rosser on Facebook. “Having you as a friend is and will be one of the finest accomplishments of my entire life. You are truly a rare treasure. I will carry you with me everywhere I go. Love you infinitely and eternally.”

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