Gary Young, Pavement’s original drummer, has died

Sad news. Gary Young, who was Pavement‘s original drummer, died today in Stockton, CA after years of ill health. He was 70. The news was confirmed by his wife, Geri Bernstein Young.

UPDATE: Read Pavement’s tribute to Gary.

Young was a fixture of the Stockton punk scene in the ’80s, booking local shows and playing in a few bands including The Fall of Christianity. When Stephen Malkmus and Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kanneberg formed Pavement in the late ’80s, they recorded at Young’s Louder Than You Think Studio with Gary playing drums which, led to him becoming their drummer. His style was intrinsic to those early records, and his wild stage antics, including headstands, were a signature of early Pavement shows.

Young played with the band through their 1992 Watery Domestic EP, after which time Steve West took over behind the kit, but Young returned to produce two songs on Pavement’s 1999 Major Leagues EP. Gary also joined Pavement at a few of their California shows on their 2010 reunion tour.

Gary also released three albums as Gary Young’s Hospital and a solo album, Malfunction, in 2016. A documentary about Gary, titled Louder Than You Think, premiered at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival in March.

Rest easy, Gary.

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