Brian Doherty, the founding guitarist of Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, passed away Wednesday at the age of 51 after a battle with cancer.
Doherty formed Big Wreck with frontman Ian Thornley in the early ’90s at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and they went on to score a couple hits on the mainstream and alternative rock charts in the late ’90s, as well as numerous hits in Canada.
A statement from the band read as follows:
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that our brother, Brian Doherty, passed away peacefully yesterday after a prolonged and brave struggle with cancer. Brian started Big Wreck with Ian in their dorm in Boston and his passing is a profound loss to us all. Our deepest condolences go out to Brian’s family. He was a good soul who will be missed by all who knew him personally or through the beautiful music he performed.”
Among the band’s best known songs is their first hit, “The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted)”, which climbed to No. 9 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart, as well as “That Song” and their comeback single “Albatross”, a No. 1 rock hit in Canada.
Big Wreck broke up in 2002, after which frontman Ian Thornley went on to form the band Thornley. In 2010, Ian asked Doherty to fill in as guitarist in Thornley, and eventually they began touring and recording again as Big Wreck. The band’s new album, But for the Sun, is due later this year.
Our condolences go out to Doherty’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time.