Alex Brown, longtime guitarist of the veteran New York hardcore punk band Gorilla Biscuits, has died at the age of 52. According to the band’s singer, Anthony Civarelli, Brown’s death was the result of a basal ganglia stroke.
After short stints in hardcore bands including Side by Side and Project X, Brown became a member of Gorilla Biscuits in time for their seminal and influential 1989 album, Start Today. He remained a member through their initial breakup in 1992 and rejoined the band for reunion shows in 1997 and again from 2005 until the present.
Upon their initial breakup, Civarelli, bassist Arthur Smilios, and drummer Sammy Siegler formed the punk band CIV, which scored a major hit with “Can’t Wait One Minute More”. Gorilla Biscuits guitarist Walter Schreifels, who was also a member of Youth of Today at the time, would launch the bands Quicksand and Rival Schools.
Brown, meanwhile, enjoyed a second career as a painter, who studied at Parsons School of Design and was inspired by found photos and other materials when creating his works. His paintings were often displayed at the New York gallery Feature, Inc., with select works seen in a slideshow at the gallery’s website.
Upon learning of Brown’s death, Civarelli posted the following note on Instagram: “The world lost a son, brother, uncle, artist, musician and loving friend this week. I lost my bandmate and friend of over 30 years, a piece of my heart died this week and all I can do is think of all the fun, shows, meals flights and trips we had together. All the late night talks and all the early morning hangs with him and my wife and kids. There will never be another alex brown. A memorial service will be held in Iowa in the coming weeks. Tell the ones you love that you love them, alex passed away from natural causes a basal ganglia stroke.”
Smilios also posted a tribute to Brown, saying, “I’m going to miss you, Alex. This sums up how you made me feel. I love you, buddy. Completely heartbroken. Stage Right is going to suck.”
Our condolences go out to Alex Brown’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time. Watch Gorilla Biscuits performing the songs “Start Today” and “High Hopes” live in 2016 in the videos below: