Robert Buck, a founding member of the alt.folk rock band 10,000 Maniacs, died Tuesday in Pittsburgh from liver disease complications. The guitarist was 42.
Buck died of multisystem organ failure brought on by massive liver failure around 5 p.m. in the intensive care unit of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital, according to the band’s reps at Big Walk Up Artist Management.
Buck had been admitted to the Pittsburgh hospital in critical condition November 30 after being airlifted from the WCA Hospital in Jamestown, New York, that same day. He died as doctors were attempting to stabilize his condition.
“The band and family both applaud the efforts of the UPMC and its staff of doctors and nurses,” manager Blair Woods wrote in a statement. “They fought valiantly on Rob’s behalf.”
Buck, who was born August 1, 1958, in Jamestown, formed the 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 with singer Natalie Merchant, guitarist John Lombardo, bassist Steven Gustafson and keyboardist Dennis Drew.
After recording a pair of independent albums, the 10,000 Maniacs signed with Elektra Records and issued five records, including In My Tribe in 1987 and Our Time in Eden in 1992.
Merchant left the group for a solo career shortly before the release of MTV Unplugged in 1993, although the 10,000 Maniacs continued on with vocalist Mary Ramsey, releasing Love Among the Ruins on Geffen in 1997 and Earth Pressed Flat on Bar None in 1999.
Buck penned the music to several of the band’s most popular songs, including “Hey Jack Kerouac”, “What’s the Matter Here?” and “These Are the Days”.
The remaining members of 10,000 Maniacs have yet to comment on their future plans. “The band’s thoughts and prayers are with Rob’s family,” Woods said.
Buck is survived by his parents, Kenneth Buck and Carol Ciper. His funeral is tentatively scheduled for this weekend at Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown.