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Minus 5, R.E.M. Guitarist Scott McCaughey Suffers Stroke


Scott McCaughey, a highly respected indie-rock veteran who has fronted the Minus 5 and the Young Fresh Fellows in addition to working a lot with R.E.M., has suffered a stroke. He is in stable condition.

The news was posted to the Minus 5’s Facebook page by McCaughey’s wife, Mary Winzig, who said that it took place while touring the West Coast with Alejandro Escovedo. “The road to recovery will be a long one,” she wrote, “and we believe it will come through music. We can’t wait to see him back in action. The collective energy of the entire creative community is powerful enough to overcome this hurdle. With the love and support of all of you, Scott will continue to share his love of music with the world. We promise to provide continued updates and will share any messages of support you want to send with him.”

McCaughey founded the Young Fresh Fellows in Seattle in 1981 and, although they’ve never broken up, he’s mostly split his time with other groups since the mid-’90s. This includes the Minus 5, a collective where McCaughey uses a different lineup for every album, the Baseball Project and Filthy Friends. From 1995 until their breakup in 2011, he was a touring multi-instrumentalist with R.E.M., and contributed to many of their post-Monster albums. McCaughey has also frequently gone on the road with Escovedo and Robyn Hitchcock.

Many of McCaughey’s side projects over the years have involved Peter Buck. The R.E.M. guitarist is quoted in Winzig’s post, calling McCaughey “one of the unsung heroes of rock n roll. A true believer and one of the most creative people I have ever met.”


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