Walter Lure, Guitarist for Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Dies at 71

Posted on: August 24th, 2020 at 5:08 am by

Walter Lure, rhythm guitarist and last surviving member of punk legends Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, passed away Saturday afternoon after a brief bout with cancer. He was 71.

News of his death was first announced by the Starwood Nightclub in Los Angeles.

“Walter was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer in July 2020, which spread rapidly and he died from complications related to the cancer at the age of 71, peacefully in the hospital, surrounded by family,” the venue wrote on social media. “He was much loved by all and respected for all he contributed to the world of music. He will be dearly missed.”

When the New York Dolls dissolved in 1975, singer-songwriter Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan joined Lure to form The Heartbreakers. The early lineup of the band also included bassist Richard Hell, who departed after a year and was replaced by Billy Rath. They released one album before breaking up, 1977’s L.A.M.F.

Aside from music, Lure transitioned from junkie punk guitarist to Wall Street stock broker, a career move detailed in his 2020 memoir To Hell and Back: My Life in Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, in the Words of the Last Man Standing.

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