Andrew Gold, the guitarist/songwriter who gained fame as a member of Linda Ronstadt’s ’70s backing band, and wrote hit songs for himself and others, died June 3. He was 59 and was being treated for cancer when he passed away in his sleep at his home in Encino, California.
Gold was born in 1951 to singer Marni Nixon, whose singing voice was used in several films, and Ernest Gold, an Academy Award-winning composer for the film industry. An avid fan of the Beatles, he reportedly learn to play guitar and bass by listening to their songs, and began writing his own songs at age 13. By the early ’70s, he was working as a musician, songwriter, and record producer. In ’73, he became the primary studio instrumentalist and arrange for Linda Ronstadt, including on her hits, “When Will I Be Loved,” “Heatwave,” and “You’re No Good.” He began recording as a solo artist in ’75, eventually recording more than a dozen albums and scoring hit singles with “Lonely Boy” and “Thank You For Being a Friend.” He also played on the Stephen Bishop hit “On and On” in ’77, and worked as a session player for James Taylor, Carly Simon, Loudon Wainwright III, J.D. Souther, Nicolette Larson, and others.
Gold is survived by his wife, Leslie Kogan, three daughters, two sisters, and his mother.