Fuller Up
The Dead Musicians Directory
 
OBITSLINKS
 Michael Hedges dies in car accident
December 1, 1997.  Age 43
 
 
 
 

                      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Michael Hedges, an acoustic
                      guitarist known for his unusual two-handed picking style and a
                      co-founder of the Windham Hill music label, was killed in an
                      automobile crash. He was 43. Authorities who found Hedges'
                      body Tuesday said his car apparently had skidded off a curve and
                      down a steep embankment a few days earlier. Known for
                      innovations such as simultaneously picking both ends of the guitar,
                      the Grammy nominee described his own music as "heavy mental,"
                      "acoustic thrash" and "new edge." In the early 1980s, he helped
                      establish the Windham Hill label with his albums "Breakfast in the
                      Field" (1983) and "Aerial Boundaries" (1984). He also
                      collaborated with such musicians as bassist Michael Manring,
                      guitarist Dweezil Zappa and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
 

Copyright 1997   The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or  redistributed.

(b. 31 December 1953, Enid, OK, USA, d. 1 December 1997 Medocino County, California, USA). This American guitarist,
singer and composer has moved from being known to possess a highly individual instrumental style to a growing acclaim as a
singer and composer.  In 1980, he moved to California to study computer music at Stanford University and was signed by the
Windham Hill Records label.  The 43-year-old Grammy nominee was found dead down a steep embankment.  He apparently
had died several days earlier while driving home from San Francisco International Airport after a Thanksgiving visit to his
girlfriend in Long Island, NY, said his manager and longtime friend, Hillary Burgess.  He had been thrown from his 1986 BMW, which had tumbled 120 feet over the cliff, apparently after skidding on a rain-slicked S-curve, California Highway Patrol
spokesman Bob Burke said. Worn tires and speed may have contributed to the crash, Burke said . It appeared Hedges had
died close to instantly, Deputy Mendocino County Coroner Kevin Broin said.

Windham Hill guitarist dies in car accident

MARTHA IRVINE, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Michael Hedges, an acoustic guitarist and composer known for his unusual two-handed picking
style, was killed in an automobile crash. He was 43.

Hedges died in a one-car crash on State Route 128 in rural Mendocino County, about 100 miles northwest of San Francisco,
California Highway Patrol Officer Bob Burke said Wednesday. A work crew discovered the guitarist's body in his wrecked
1986 BMW Tuesday morning.

Burke said it appeared Hedges' car skidded off a curve and down a steep embankment a few days earlier.

Known for innovations such as simultaneously picking both ends of the guitar, the Grammy nominee described his own music as
"heavy mental", "acoustic thrash" and "new edge."

In the early 1980s, he helped establish the Windham Hill label with his albums "Breakfast in the Field" (1983) and "Aerial
Boundaries" (1984). He also collaborated with such musicians as bassist Michael Manring, guitarist Dweezil Zappa and
Crosby, Stills & Nash.

"He was a great friend and one of the most brilliant musicians in America," David Crosby said Wednesday from his Southern
California home.

A native of Enid, Okla., Hedges' early interest in the guitar and flute led him to study classical guitar at Phillips University in Enid.
He eventually earned a degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He also studied electronic music at
Stanford University, where he met Windham Hill co-founder and guitarist Will Ackerman.

"Michael tore my head off," Ackerman once said of Hedges' playing. "It was like watching the guitar being reinvented."

His music, Hedges once said, was without category.

"If I did have a formula, it would be one more limitation that I would have to deal with, and I'm not in this business to make
limitations for myself," he said. "I'm in it to get high. That's what happens to me when I write music."

In recent years, Hedges lived in Mendocino, recording in his Naked Ear Music studio. There, he incorporated vocals into
albums such as "Taproot" (1990) and "The Road To Return" (1994), but had returned to instrumentals in his most recent album, "Oracle."

He was scheduled to perform in the Guitar Summit Tour on the East Coast beginning this winter.

He also had been working on his next album, tentatively titled "Torched."

Hedges is survived by his mother, Ruth Ipsen, of Fresno; sister Carol Hedges of San Francisco; two brothers, Craig of Los
Angeles and Brendan of Madera; and two sons from a former marriage.

Note: Hedges family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Children of Michael Hedges fund, Bank of America,
228 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, Calif. 95437


Michael Hedges Links:

Fuller Up
The Dead Musicians Directory
 
 
FULLER UP
HOME
GRIM REAPER
PAGE
CAUSES OF
DEATH
SEARCH BY
NAME
GET IN
TOUCH
SHAMEFUL DISCLAIMER
 
 
TOP