Q Lazzarus
Q Lazzarus | Mon Amie Records

Q Lazzarus, Reclusive Singer Of ‘Goodbye Horses’, Dies Aged 61

Q Lazzarus, the reclusive musician best known for performing the haunting 1988 track ‘Goodbye Horses’, has passed away at the age of 61. An obituary that appeared in the Asbury Park Press confirmed that Diane Luckey – the artist’s real name – passed away on 19th July following a short illness.

Rolling Stone confirmed Luckey’s passing, corresponding with Eva Aridjis, who had been producing a documentary on Q Lazzarus. “Q had one of those life forces that you simply can’t imagine being extinguished or ceasing to exist, because it was so vital and radiant and exuberant,” Aridjis explained.

Q Lazzarus – ‘Goodbye Horses’

“Despite having had a very hard life, she was not jaded at all,”Aridjis added. “On the contrary – she was full of enthusiasm, passion and humour. And she was also full of plans. At the time of her death, we were planning a ‘comeback concert’ with some of her original bandmates.”

Luckey was born in 1960 and came to prominence in the ’80s while performing music as part of the band Q Lazzarus and The Resurrection, who were based in New York City. Having faced rejection from a number of record companies, Luckey had a chance encounter with director Jonathan Demme while working as a taxi driver, playing him her demo tape and receiving a positive response.

The Q Lazzarus song ‘Candle Goes Away’ was included on the soundtrack to Demme’s Something Wild, but Luckey didn’t receive wider recognition until her trademark song, ‘Goodbye Horses’, appeared in Demme’s Married To The Mob in 1988. The track received even more attention after its use during a pivotal scene in Demme’s The Silence Of The Lambs in 1991.

While ‘Goodbye Horses’ was Q Lazzarus’ sole official release, with the track being issued as a single in 1991, its legacy grew over time, with the likes of Kele Okereke, Crosses, MGMT, Psyche, Fan Death, and more covering it over the years, helping cement its status as an iconic piece of dark ’80s synth-pop.

In recent years, stories had been published in regards to the whereabouts of Luckey, with her reclusive nature, an undisclosed amount of unclaimed royalties, and comments from producer and bandmate William Garvey leading to the theory she had in fact passed away years earlier.

In 2018, however, a fan of Luckey’s work managed to track her down and get in contact with her. Luckey was revealed to be working as a bus driver in Staten Island, and explained that she had “no interest in singing anymore”.

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