Big Black Bassist Dave Riley Dead At 59

Dave Riley, bassist for the punk band Big Black, has died at 59. In a social media post, his partner confirmed the news, saying that he passed away shortly after being diagnosed with throat cancer.

Riley joined Big Black in 1985 as its replacement bassist alongside Steve Albini and Santiago Durango. He would go on to play on their two full-length albums, 1986’s Atomizer and 1987’s Songs About Fucking, as well as their Headache EP and a handful of 7″ singles.

After Big Black broke up, Riley suffered a stroke in the early ’90s that impacted his mobility. “Dave never let his disabilities get in the way of what he wanted to do in life,” his partner wrote in a social media post. “He created music, wrote, traveled, ran an online store and helped take care of the cats in our rescue-cat sanctuary. In 2015 we retired to a small ranch in the hills of southern Arizona.”