Van Konner, founding guitarist for the alternative rock band Trees screamingat the age of 55.
Conner’s brother and bandmate, Gary Lee Conner, shared the news in a statement on social media. “Van Conner, guitarist and songwriter for Screaming Trees, passed away last night from an extended illness at the age of 55,” he wrote. “It was pneumonia that finally hit him. He was one of my closest friends ever, and I loved him so much. I will miss him forever and ever.”
Born in 1967 in Apple Valley, California, Conner grew up in Ellensburg, Washington, and formed the band Explosive Generation in high school with his guitar-playing brother and drummer Marc Pickerell. The trio soon recruited a singer Mark Lanigan It renamed itself Screaming Trees. The quartet released several albums on independent labels throughout the late 1980s, blending hard rock and neo-psychedelia to become the progenitors of the Seattle sound along with bands like MelvinAnd Al-Madhouni and the Green River.
Screaming Trees signed with Epic Records in 1990, and their debut, Uncle anesthetized, arrived the following year, and spawned the Top 40 alternative radio hit “Bed of Roses”. His follow-up, 1992 sweet oblivionIt became the band’s first Billboard 200 entry, peaking at No. 141 and yield no. 5 alternative radio hits “Almost Lost You” and the latest Top 40 hit “Dollar Bill”. After a gap of four years, the band released soil In 1996, they had an extended hiatus after their supporting tour and officially broke up in 2000. Shelved a follow-up soil 2011 arrived under the name Final Words: Final Recordings.
Conner also briefly toured with Dinosaur Jr. In the 1990s, after the breakup of Screaming Trees, he went on to form several other alt-rock bands, including Gardener and Musk Ox. The guitarist’s death comes less than a year after Lanegan’s Die At the age of 57.
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