Robert “Throb” Young, original member and longtime guitarist of Scottish rock band Primal Scream, was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday at the age of 49. No cause of death has been revealed, but authorities do not suspect foul play, the Guardian reports. Young joined Primal Scream as bassist prior to the recording of their debut album, 1987’s Sonic Flower Groove, but soon shifted to guitar, where he’d make an unmistakable impact on classic albums like 1991’s Screamadelica and 1997’s Vanishing Point.
“We have lost our comrade and brother Robert Young. A beautiful and deeply soulful man,” Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes wrote in a statement. “He was an irreplaceable talent, much admired amongst his peers. In the words of Johnny Marr, ‘Throb with a gold top Les Paul – unbeatable.’ He was a true rock and roller. He walked the walk. He had ‘Heart & Soul’ tattooed on his arm and I’m sure on his heart too. He once said to me, ‘When we go onstage, it’s a war between us and the audience.’ He never let go of that attitude. Our love and thoughts are with his sons Brandon and Miles and their mother Jane, his wife Rachel, and his immediate family.”
Young also provided the vocals for Screamadelica‘s acid house cover of 13th Floor Elevators’ “Slip Inside This House.” After the release of that landmark album, Young remained with the band for 1994’s Give Out But Don’t Give Up, including the hit “Rocks,” up through 2006’s Riot City Blues, at which point the guitarist decided to take a sabbatical from Primal Scream after nearly two decades in the group. “Let’s just say that he’s got some problems that he’s got to sort out for himself,” Gillespie said at the time of Young’s departure. During his tenure with Primal Scream, Young was credited as co-writer on each of the band’s original songs from 1987 to 2006.
Oasis’ Liam Gallagher and Andy Bell, Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and the Charlatans’ Tim Burgess all tweeted condolences following the news of Young’s death, which was initially revealed in a post on the Primal Scream message board by occasional bassist Mani.