Pavement’s original drummer Gary Young has died, age 70. Frontman Stephen Malkmus announced the news on Twitter, writing “Gary Young passed on today. Gary’s pavement drums were ‘one take and hit record’… Nailed it so well. rip.”
Gary Young passed on today
.. . Gary’s pavement drums were “one take and hit record”…. Nailed it so well
— Stephen malkmus (@dronecoma) August 18, 2023
Young had drummed for several bands around Stockton, California – including Fall Of Christianity and The Authorities – before Malkmus and Scott ‘Spiral Stairs’ Kannberg booked Young’s Louder Than You Think studio in 1989 to record their first EP, Slay Tracks 1933-1969.
Young suggested he play drums for the band, and subsequently appeared on all early Pavement releases, including debut album Slanted And Enchanted, which was also recorded at Louder Than You Think.
Young’s eccentric showmanship was a prominent feature of Pavement’s first tours. He was often to be seen performing handstands on-stage, or handing out fruit to the crowd.
He was replaced by Steve West following 1992’s Watery, Domestic EP, after which he released three solo albums backed by his band Hospital. Earlier this year, Young was the subject of a puppet-based documentary entitled Louder Than You Think.
“Garrit Allan Robertson Young put Pavement on the map,” wrote the band in an official statement. “He drummed very hard from a different planet… 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… We all loved him and it was life changing to have a staggering weapon to play music with… Never fear. The Plant Man lives on every time Pavement steps on a stage and will continue to do so.”