Electro/Techno-Pop Pioneer Steve Strange Has Died

Yes, Steve was strange–at least for his time.

Inspired by the Sex Pistols, young Steve Harrington moved to London at the age of 15 to work for Malcolm McLaren. A few years later, he was a founder of the Blitz Club. What CBGB was to punk in New York, the Blitz Club was for the dandy dressers in London.

It became Ground Zero for the much of the techno-pop that burst out of London in the early 80s. It was also the home of the New Romantic movement, the Ur sound of Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and so many others. Hell, Boy George used to work the cloakroom.

Strange got into music himself. He became friends with David Bowie and ended up in the video for “Ashes to Ashes.”

His band was called Visage and they scored their biggest hit in 1981 with “Fade to Grey.”

One story (Via Larry) says that Larry Mullen Jr. of U2 was obsessed with learning how to play that song. The basis of what he figured out become “New Year’s Day.”

You can learn more about Steve at the BBC and Vanyaland as well as Sky News. Cause of death hasn’t been released, but he’d been in ill health since December with an intestinal blockage and a bronchial infection. He was 55.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Electro/Techno-Pop Pioneer Steve Strange Has Died

  • February 13, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I am so sad about this; Visage is one of my favourite bands, and the fact that Billie Currie met Midge Ure while both were in Visage, resulting in the Midge Ure era of my favourite band, Ultravox. You will be missed, Steve, and thank you for giving so many great bands of the early 80s and beyond their starts.


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