Gary Young, Pavement first drummer, dies at 70 years old

Gary Young, Pavement first drummer, dies at 70 years old - 97

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Gary Young, the original drummer of the influential indie rock band Pavement, passed away on Thursday at his home in Stockton, California. He was 70 years old. His wife, Geri Bernstein Young, confirmed his death but did not provide any details about the cause.
Young was born on May 3rd, 1953 in Mamaroneck, New York. He was a part of the Stockton punk scene in the 1980s, playing in bands and booking shows. He also owned a small studio called Louder Than You Think, where he recorded and produced local bands.
In 1989, he met Stephen Malkmus and Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg, two young guitarists who formed Pavement. They recorded their first EP, Slay Tracks (1933-1969), at Young’s studio and invited him to join the band as their drummer.
Young played on Pavement’s first three EPs and their debut album, Slanted and Enchanted, which was released in 1992 and is widely regarded as one of the best and most influential indie rock albums of all time. Young’s drumming style was loose, spontaneous, and unpredictable, adding a distinctive edge to the band’s sound.
Young was also known for his eccentric and wild behavior, both on and off stage. He would often do headstands during the band’s shows, hand out food to the audience, or run around the venue. He also drank heavily and clashed with his bandmates over creative and personal issues.
In 1993, Young left Pavement after their Watery, Domestic EP. He was replaced by Steve West, who remained with the band until their breakup in 1999. Young later said that he did not understand Pavement’s music at first and that it took him years to appreciate what they had done.
After leaving Pavement, Young continued to make music as Gary Young’s Hospital and released a solo album, Malfunction, in 2016. He also invented the Universal Shock Mount, a low-cost device for recording engineers that he claimed sold tens of thousands of units.
In 2010, Young reunited with Pavement for two shows during their reunion tour. He played drums on two songs from Slanted and Enchanted and received a warm welcome from the fans and his former bandmates.
Young’s death was mourned by many in the indie rock community, including Malkmus, who wrote on social media: "Gary Young passed on today. Gary’s pavement drums were ‘one take and hit record’… Nailed it so well."
Young is survived by his wife, Geri Bernstein Young; his son; his daughter; and his grandchildren. A documentary about his life and career, titled Louder Than You Think , is currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It won the Audience Award at SXSW earlier this year.
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