Mazzy Star’s David Roback has died, aged 61

"We've lost a great one"

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From his home at the top of the Pennines

Tributes have been rolling in for Mazzy Star’s David Roback, who died yesterday (February 25), aged 61. No cause of death has been announced.

Roback first rose to prominence as the leader of Rain Parade, key movers on LA’s Paisley Underground scene. However, Roback left the band after their 1983 debut Emergency Third Rail Power Trip to form Clay Allison, who soon changed their name to Opal.

After releasing one influential album (1987’s Happy Nightmare Baby, recently re-released by Sally Gardens) Opal morphed into Mazzy Star with the arrival of singer Hope Sandoval. The band released four acclaimed albums either side of a long hiatus in the 2000s, their most recent release being the 2018 EP Still.


The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, who originally played with David Roback in a band called The Unconscious, paid tribute to “my first musical partner and my very dear friend. You will be eternally missed.”

“Terrible, sad news,” wrote Colin Meloy of The Decemberists. “We’ve lost a great one.”

Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis posted: “Very sad David Roback died, I always loved his music.”

“To be in one great band is amazing,” wrote the group Modern Nature, “but to be in three is incredible.”



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