Walter Lure has died at the age of 71. The guitarist is best known for co-founding the Heartbreakers with New York Dolls’ Johnny Thunders. Though they only put out one album — 1977’s L.A.M.F. — the New York band is credited for pioneering punk.
Los Angeles music venue Starwood wrote about Lure’s death in a Facebook post. “Walter Lure (April 22, 1949 – August 22, 2020) our dear friend has passed away,” it reads. “Walter was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer in July 2020, which spread rapidly and he died from complications related to the cancer at the age of 71, peacefully in the hospital, surrounded by family. He was much loved by all and respected for all he contributed to the world of music.”
Lure left the Heartbreakers shortly after L.A.M.F.‘s release and became a Wall Street stockbroker; however, he continued to play music throughout his life and reunited with the band on several occasions prior to Thunders’ death in 1991 and drummer Jerry Nolan’s death in 1992. Bassist Billy Rath passed away in 2014.
Lure also founded his own band, the Waldos, and released his first album in 24 years, Wacka Lacka Boom Bop A Loom Bam Boo, in 2018. Earlier this year, Lure published his memoir To Hell And Back: My Life In Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, In The Words Of The Last Man Standing.
Walter Lure was the last of The Heartbreakers – in his memory we’ll be having a listening party for L.A.M.F. on Tuesday at 8pm (U.K. time). No guests, no tweets from me, just the songs
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) August 23, 2020
Walter Lure of NYC punk legends The Heartbreakers has died https://t.co/LykB30Bepw
— Marky Ramone (@MarkyRamone) August 23, 2020
— Todd Dammit Kerns (@todddammitkerns) August 23, 2020
RIP Walter Lure. One of the Real #LAMF’s. A true heartbreaker. NYC legend.
— Ace Von Johnson (@acevonjohnson) August 23, 2020
Goodnight Walter Lure, thanks for your enormous contribution to rocknroll culture. Sad to see you go https://t.co/bIXZrcK2Kp@LAMFBAND1 #WalterLure #ripwalterlure #Heartbreakers pic.twitter.com/IKco9KRKpn
— Marko DeSantis (@SugarcultMarko) August 23, 2020
— Nick 13 (@nick13official) August 23, 2020
RIP Walter Lure, last man standing from Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers. https://t.co/poCzjL9oAm
— Kathy Valentine (@Kathy_Valentine) August 23, 2020
To see our running list of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time, click here.