"Without Gary, many people would not have noticed us."
Pavement have revealed that their original drummer, Garrit Allan Robertson Young, or the Plant Man, has passed away, aged 70.
Brooklyn Vegan reports that the news was initially confirmed by Young’s wife, Geri Bernstein Young. He reportedly passed away in his Stockton home.
“Garrit Allan Robertson Young put Pavement on the map,” the band wrote in tribute to Young earlier today (18 August).
“He did it all in his garage, a studio called Louder Than You Think. Stephen [Malkmus, vocals and guitar] and Spiral [Scott Kannberg, guitar and vocals] knew him from the Stockton punk rock scene and got his phone number from the yellow pages. He made all of their early songs happen as tried to grasp their youthful mayhem and, make sense of it all. That, he did.”
With Pavement, Young recorded the legendary indie rock band’s debut album, Slanted And Enchanted (1992), and four EPs, including their 1989 first EP, Slay Tracks: 1933–1969, Demolition Plot J-7 (1990), Perfect Sound Forever (1991), and 1992’s Watery, Domestic.
Young was no longer in Pavement by 1993 due to reported conflicts with Malkmus. However, in 2010, he reunited with the band for two special shows. He released three albums as Gary Young’s Hospital, with his most recent solo album, Malfunction, arriving in 2016.
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The band continued in their lengthy, emotional statement, “He was made to play drums in rock and roll bands. He came from the “Keith Moon school of drummers.” It’s an unofficial school. But, Gary graduated from it with honors.
“To us and all who knew him, he was a fearless fireball. His enthusiasm for playing live music was relentless and unrepentant,” the band wrote.
Pavement called Young “the best storyteller we’ve known” and commented that he “wanted to make people excited and anxious. He accomplished both.”
In a way, Pavement said, “We were his apprentices. Pavement has been an extremely fortunate endeavor from the start and, somehow, continues to be.
“Without Gary, many people would not have noticed us. In all of the best ways, he was a freak show. He was magnetic. He was magical. He was dangerous. We could think of him as an uncle, an older brother that none of us had.”
Towards the end of the statement, Pavement gave their condolences to Geri, “who was with him for nearly 50 years, and kept him going and staying as vibrant as possible past the age of 70.
“Love you Gary. We’re sure you’re doing handstands off of roofs, biting high hat cymbals, fake drowning at the bottom of your pool and dodging rocks glasses and police-fired bullets aimed at your head. Never fear.
“The Plant Man lives on every time Pavement steps on a stage and will continue to do so.”
You can read the complete statement below.
Pavement returned to Australia for their highly anticipated tour in February and March 2022. In addition to their headline dates, they led the first-ever Tent Pole: A Music Jamboree festival in Geelong.
Want to listen to Pavement but don’t know where to start? Check out The Music’s Pavement in Ten songs list here.