Walter Lure, guitarist and longtime member of New York punk icons the Heartbreakers, has died of complications from lung and liver cancer, his label Cleopatra Records has confirmed. He was 71 years old.
News of Lure’s death was previously shared in a social media post from the Hollywood venue Starwood. Lure’s band the Waldos also acknowledged his death on Facebook. Find tributes from Starwood and Walter Lure & The Waldos below.
Walter Lure was an original member of the Heartbreakers, the first-wave punk supergroup fronted by Johnny Thunders. Lure co-wrote and played on the band’s sole album, the 1977 classic L.A.M.F. (an acronym for “Like a Motherfucker”). Lure provided lead vocals on songs like “One Track Mind,” “All By Myself,” and more. Aside from Richard Hell—who left the Heartbreakers before L.A.M.F. was recorded—Lure was the last surviving member of the band. (Johnny Thunders died in 1991, followed by drummer Jerry Nolan and bassist Billy Rath in the ensuing years.)
After his tenure with the Heartbreakers, Lure played guitar on much of Johnny Thunders’ solo output, such as 1978’s So Alone, 1983’s In Cold Blood, and more. Additionally, Lure co-wrote So Alone’s “London Boys” alongside Thunders and Rath. In 1994, Lure issued Rent Party, his first LP with his band Walter Lure & The Waldos. Lure was the frontman and core songwriter for the group, who went on to release one more studio album, 2018’s Wacka Lacka Boom Bop A Loom Bam Boo (via Cleopatra).
In his career, Lure also recorded alongside the Ramones, Richard Hell, Mitch Ryder, Phil Lynott, and others. Earlier this year, Lure published his memoir To Hell and Back: My Life in Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, which he wrote with Dave Thompson.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork