Founding Autograph bassist Randy Rand has died. The band released a statement on their social media platforms announcing the news. He was surrounded by his wife, Regina Rand, and his family at the time of his death.
“It is with great sorrow and heavy hearts to announce the unexpected passing of our cherished friend and founding member of Autograph, Randy Rand,” the band wrote. “Although beyond devastated, we find some comfort and solace knowing the last couple of years have been some of his happiest as an artist and as a performer. Randy was the consummate optimist and was so excited to see the new direction, creativity and renewed energy with the band. You could feel his excitement — as it was quite palpable with his playing abilities, performances and the way he interacted with his beloved fans.”
“Collectively in the last couple of years with this formation, we spent numerous hours that turned into something magical while creating an unbreakable bond few bands are fortunate enough to ever experience. We had that… and with that, we will continue to honor Randy Rand, as he would want us to and honor our musical commitments and keep his legacy alive,” they added.
Read the full statement below.
Rand first started playing in bands in the Sunset Strip area in the mid-’70s. He later formed Autograph in Pasadena, Calif. in 1984 alongside vocalist Steve Plunkett, guitarist Steve Lynch, keyboardist Steven Isham and drummer Keni Richards. Their debut album Sign in Please, which was released later that year, featured their one and only hit single “Turn Up the Radio.” The song’s popularity helped push the album into the Top 30 of the Billboard 200, and it was eventually certified gold.
Autograph put out another two albums afterward — 1985’s That’s the Stuff and 1987’s Loud and Clear — before disbanding in 1989. Rand decided to pursue a career in making leather accessories afterward.
“When the band broke up we knew it was time to move on. The grunge scene took over the rock world, plus I was tired of chasing success when it just wasn’t fun anymore. Just the smell of a bus generator running makes me sick now,” the rocker told Legendary Rock Interviews in 2012.
“It didn’t take long to figure out what I wanted to do, I had been doing leather accessories in my spare time so I just put my whole energy into that. Before I knew it, I was selling my stuff on Melrose, then EASYRIDER took me on as a vendor for their stores and their retail catalog. I ran into my competitor Steve and we formed a business together which is a high end dog collar company called “Woof Wear,” and that’s what I’m still doing 12 years later.”
Punkett initially reformed Autograph with a whole new lineup in the early 2000s and released a single album called Buzz before disbanding again. However, in 2013, Rand, Lynch and Richards decided to reunite Autograph, though without Plunkett, as he was no longer interested. Vocalist Simon Daniels was recruited to take Plunkett’s place after they discovered him on YouTube, and then Marc Wieland joined the following year on drums in place of Richards.
They released Louder in 2016 and Get Off Your Ass the following year, and then Lynch left the group. At the time of Rand’s death, he’d been the only original member remaining.
Loudwire sends our condolences to Rand’s loved ones and fans. Rest in peace.
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