The California musician Jack Lee died last month at 71 from colon cancer, as Pitchfork reports. Lee was the leader of the ’70s power-pop trio the Nerves, and songs he wrote would go on to be covered by Blondie, Paul Young, and Suzi Quatro.
Lee formed the Nerves in 1974 while living in San Francisco, playing guitar and singing opposite bassist Peter Case and drummer Paul Collins. Shortly after releasing their four-song self-titled EP in 1976, they moved down to Los Angeles, where they broke up a year later. But one of the Nerves songs that Lee wrote, “Hanging On The Telephone,” became a major hit for Blondie, who recorded it for their 1978 breakthrough album Parallel Lines. Lee also wrote “Come Back And Stay,” which became a hit for the English musician Paul Young in 1983, and “You Are My Lover,” which Suzi Quatro recorded in 1979.
“He never gave up on his music, to the very end. His guitar, right by his side,” Lee’s family said in a statement to Pitchfork. “He lived his songs. One by one they told the story of his life. Some dreams die. His never will.”