Sudden and unexpected passing saddens an entire musical community.
By Fred Mills
We’ve lost another dear musical friend: Michael Carlucci, who as guitarist for ‘80s New Jersey indie rockers Winter Hours helped blaze a brilliant path for that decade’s college rock and folky power pop. The cause of death as of this writing seems to be heart attack, and that it was a sudden death. Since I am proud to call myself a long-distance friend it’s doubly saddening to get the news—I began seeing notifications and remembrances on Facebook yesterday, and there are scores of such notes at his Facebook page now.
In fact, it was only two months ago that I posted my appreciation of Winter Hours at the BLURT site as part of my “College Rock Chronicles” series, so I’ll let that serve as my basic obituary for Michael. I’ll add here, though, that long after his band’s demise he and I would periodically touch base and catch up a bit, sometimes about the record store he operated in Greenwhich Village, Subterranean Records (I myself am an alumnus of the national record store clerk union), sometimes about the music he was currently making (he went on to play in a number of under-the-radar but much-loved Jersey bands), and sometimes just reminiscing about how much fun everyone had during that pre-Nirvana/grunge college rock era. Bottom line: he was one of the nicest, most genial, absolutely genuine people from our collective “scene” and I know he is already deeply missed by his family, friends and bandmates.
Rest in peace, Michael. You were an inspiration to us all. I’m shocked and nearly speechless right now. There is to be a wake this Sunday in Lyndhurst, NJ, at the Nazere Memorial Home.
Below, listen to Winter Hours’ timeless “Hyacinth Girl,” featuring Carlucci’s prominent, wonderfully plangent guitar lines….