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Psych-pop legend Emitt Rhodes has died, aged 70

Singer-songwriter and power-pop trailblazer Emitt Rhodes has died, aged 70.

The American multi-instrumentalist was a part of several bands, including 1960s garage rock band Palace Guard whose song was featured on Elektra Records’ iconic compilation album, Nuggets. 

Emitt Rhodes

Iconic singer-songwriter and power-pop pioneer Emitt Rhodes has passed away in his sleep, aged 70.

Hailing from Illinois, Rhodes began his musical journey with Palace Guard before joining psychedelic rock group Merry-Go-Round prior to the release of their 1967 self-titled album.

After the band disbanded, Rhodes embarked on a solo career, releasing his first complete album in 1970. In conversation with Mojo Magazine, Rhodes stated that this was him finally “investing” in himself. Rhodes was later sued by his label, ABC/Dunhill, for failing to comply with his contractual obligation to release two albums a year, which led to a recording hiatus until 2016.

After years working behind-the-scenes as a producer and engineer, he returned to recording his own music with Rainbow Ends, a collaboration with Chris Price.

Rhodes work has been regarded as highly influential, with artists like Mac DeMarco citing Rhodes as an influence on the Salad Days sessions, and American multi-instrumentalist Sadie Dupuis tweeting that Rhodes inspired her home studio work.