Updated: 08/01/2014 2:50 PM
Created: 08/01/2014 2:42 PM WDIO.com
By: MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Dick Wagner, the skilled guitarist who worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss and Aerosmith, and also co-wrote many of Cooper's hits, died of respiratory failure Wednesday, his personal manager and business partner said Friday. He was 71.
Susan Michelson, Wagner's partner in Desert Dreams Productions, said the performer died at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center in Arizona. He had been there for three weeks, Michelson said.
Wagner was born on Dec. 14, 1942, and grew up in Michigan. His website said he went on tour with Reed in 1973 and joined Cooper a year later. He co-wrote the Cooper hits "Only Women Bleed," ''You and Me" and "I Never Cry." He also worked as Cooper's musical director.
Wagner's website said the guitarist had many health issues, surviving two heart attacks, a stroke, a paralyzed left arm, kidney failure and diabetes.
"Dick had a huge heart, which is perhaps why it gave him so much trouble, it was simply too full of love, of music and life," Wagner's family and Desert Dreams said in a joint statement. "His creativity and passion will live on forever in the legacy he has left for us, in his music and his words. We have so much of him to celebrate."
Wagner formed the band The Bossmen in Michigan, but had his first real taste of success came with the band The Frost, whose albums placed on the Billboard charts.
He then moved to New York and formed Ursa Major, a short-lived band that included Wagner on guitar and Billy Joel on keyboard. Wagner's website said drama in "Billy's personal life intervened and he left the band."
Wagner eventually relocated to Phoenix and started Desert Dreams in 2005 with Michelson, whom he met in the late 1970s when working with Cooper.
Wagner is survived by his daughter, Jasmine Dreame Wagner, and his sons, Robert Wagner and Mark Schuknecht. A memorial in Michigan is being planned, Michelson said.
___ Online: http://www.wagnermusic.com
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Justin's 2014-2015 Winter Prediction
Winter is right around the corner and the question on everybody's mind is will we have a winter like last year. With record stretches of cold and record snowfall last year is one we one like to forget. Chief meteorologist Justin Liles lets us know what we can expect this year
Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout was found Unresponsive in House Fire Day Before
A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. On Tuesday, authorities say that same woman was found by her neighbors unresponsive and not breathing after they saw flames coming from a downtown Lake Nebagamon home.
Funding for Military Funeral Personnel Restored
On Thursday, Rep. Rick Nolan received a letter from the Secretary of the Army that funding for the playing of "Taps," a rifle salute, and delivering a folded American flag will be restored.
Preparing for Ebola: Health System Working Together
People who work in the Northland's health system are communicating on a regular basis, to prepare for Ebola, even though it's unlikely to appear here.
St. Luke's Honored by American Heart Association
St. Luke's received three honors from the American Heart Association on Thursday, for their approach and teamwork when taking care of heart and stroke patients.