Dick Wagner, rock guitarist who co-wrote many of Alice Cooper’s hits, dies at 71


Rock guitarist Dick Wagner. (Reuters)
August 3

Dick Wagner, the skilled guitarist who worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss and Aerosmith and also co-wrote many of Cooper’s hits, died July 30 at a hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 71.

The cause was respiratory failure, personal manager and business partner, Susan Michelson, said.

Mr. Wagner’s Web site said the guitarist had many health issues, surviving two heart attacks, a stroke, a paralyzed left arm, kidney failure and diabetes.

Mr. Wagner, who grew up in Michigan, went on tour with Reed in 1973 and joined Cooper a year later. He co-wrote the Cooper hits “Only Women Bleed,” “You and Me” and “I Never Cry.” He also worked as Cooper’s musical director.

Mr. Wagner formed the band the Bossmen in Michigan, but his first real taste of success came with the Frost, whose albums placed on the Billboard charts. He then moved to New York and formed Ursa Major, a short-lived band that included Mr. Wagner on guitar and Billy Joel on keyboards.

Mr. Wagner eventually relocated to Phoenix and started Desert Dreams in 2005 with Michelson, whom he met in the late 1970s when working with Cooper.

Survivors include three children.

— Associated Press

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