Romero Guitarist Adam Johnstone Passes Away, Aged 32

6 November 2023 | 8:41 am | Mary Varvaris

"He has fought so hard over the past five years, and more than anyone deserves the peaceful rest and eternal sunshine of whatever lies beyond."

Adam Johnstone

Adam Johnstone (Source: Facebook/@Romeroband)

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Adam Johnstone, the guitarist in Melbourne band Romero, has passed away at the age of 32 following a fight with cancer.

The tragic news was revealed by the band on Instagram, with the rockers also sharing details of a Last Hurrah to their beloved bandmate. The live stream and memorial card to Adam Johnstone are still available to watch and sign here.

“It is with immense sadness that I share the news of our beloved Adam Johnstone, who passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family and friends on October 17,” drummer Dave Johnstone wrote on 23 October.

“He was my brother, bandmate and best friend for my whole life, and I am left incomplete now that he is gone, however he has fought so hard over the past 5 years and more than anyone deserves the peaceful rest and eternal sunshine of whatever lies beyond.”

Dave Johnstone wrote that his brother had been fighting cancer since 2019, “but he never let it define him or determine his memory. He recorded the Romero album and 7” while in various stages of treatment and remained tough (and vegan) until the very end.”

Dave continued, “It goes without saying that he was an incredibly gifted musician. He knew how to write a fucking riff. I had a front row seat to all of his songwriting, and it always had such a haunting, nostalgic and tortured beauty to it, like he was relaying so much pain through the only way he could communicate it, channelling it through a tunnel of love and letting it bleed through his guitar.

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“He is survived by his wife Megan, his family, his close friends, all those who had their minds blown by a live performance, and by his recorded music. Please continue to celebrate his life by listening to his amazing songwriting and guitar in Romero, Summer Blood, and his few beautiful solo recordings as Boredwalk.

“Let us remember him as the strong, loyal, expressive and unique cowboy he was. In his memory, live with authenticity, justice, honesty and kindness, look out for your friends and family, listen to real music and relish the times with good company and plenty of liquor.”

Romero released their debut album, Turn It On!, in April 2022. Check out a deep dive into the band’s creative process that fellow guitarist Fergus Sinclair offered to The Music here.