On the bright side, look out for a reissue of this classic psych-rock LP by Opal, featuring the late, great guitarist.
On the bright side, look out for a reissue of this classic psych-rock LP by Opal, featuring the late, great guitarist. SST Records

At the time of publishing yesterday's obituary of the influential psych-rock musician David Roback on Slog, the cause of his death was unknown. Today the New York Times reports that Roback—who headed the important groups Rain Parade, Opal, and Mazzy Star—died from metastatic cancer, according to his mother, Rosemary Roback. He was 61.

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In other Roback news, reissue producer Pat Thomas (whom I interviewed in yesterday's post) noted in his enlightening obituary for Variety that 1987's Happy Nightmare Baby and 1989's Early Recordings by Roback and Kendra Smith's fantastic band Opal would be forthcoming on physical and digital formats on Ingrooves Music Group. (Thomas is also Smith's manager.) Both albums have been out of print for decades and are currently not available on streaming services, so this is fantastic news.

Thomas closed his tribute with this bit of truth: "[W]hile Roback’s reclusive and enigmatic nature meant that his work never received the attention it deserved during his life, the explosion of testimonials on social media in the hours and days after his death show that his influence reached much farther than he probably ever would have imagined."

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