R.I.P. Heartbreakers bassist Billy Rath

billy-rathFormer Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers bass-player Billy Rath has died after a long illness.

Rath had been in ill-health for some time and left a hospice to be at home with his family in Boston.

Rath replaced Richard Hell in the Heartbreakers in 1976, recorded their debut album “LAMF” and remained in the ranks for the band’s innumerable reunion appearances.

He was briefly a member of Iggy Pop's touring band before disappearing from the music scene in the 1980s.

Clean and sober, he studied psychology and theology, worked as a drug counsellor and lived in Massachusetts. In 2010, he formed Billy Rath’s Street Pirates, a line-up of which he was still playing with and recording until falling ill.

Rath’s passing leaves guitarist Walter Lure as the sole surviving member of the classic Heartbreakers line-up.

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  • If you never saw the HEARTBREAKERS at the height of their not inconsiderable powers----fueled in no small degree by boss bass man BILLY RATH----then you can't really say you saw it all, at all. And then there was one: WALTER LURE. Geez, this makes me very sad. And the beat goes on…...

    from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Guest - Jose Equis

    On a good night, the Heartbreakers were unbeatable. Fact. Billy was always on, very under-rated bass player. Well, maybe the 3 of them are rockin away somewhere. R.I.P. Johnny, Jerry and Billy. Thanks for the good times.

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