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Ivan Král, iconic guitarist of Patti Smith, Blondie and more, passes away

A long-time member and co-writer of Patti Smith has just passed away at 71 years old.

Ivan Král was a co-founding guitarist of Blondie and also wrote songs performed by the likes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Pearl Jam, and more, before becoming a mainstay in the Patti Smith Group.

Ivan Král, a long-time member of the Patti Smith Group, and celebrated composer, guitarist, and documentarian, has passed away.

During his long tenure with the Patti Smith Group, Král co-wrote many songs with Smith, notably Dancing Barefoot from the 1979 album Wave. Král also wrote songs for and performed on, Horses (1975), Radio Ethiopia (1976), Easter (1978), and the live album Exodus, released in 1994.

In the ’70s, Král was also co-founding member of Blondie, leaving the group before the release of their self-titled album in 1976. Král also played guitar for Iggy Pop, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

As well as being a celebrated guitarist, Král established himself as a widely respected composer. His songs were performed by the likes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Pearl Jam, as well as U2, Simple Minds, John Waite, and Eastern Bloc.

In 1976, he directed a documentary titled The Blank Generation alongside pioneering indie filmmaker, Amos Poe. The film chronicled the local New York punk scene, featuring footage of Blondie, Talking Heads, Ramones, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Wayne County, and more.

In 1992 Král released his first solo album, Native. He went onto release 26 albums in total. His final release, Colors, was in 2018.

You can see watch Král performing with the Patti Smith Group in this concert documentary trailer.