Beachwood Sparks‘ guitarist & songwriter, Josh Schwartz passed away, at the age of 45, losing the battle with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  Josh was part of the original Beachwood Sparks’ lineup (left the band in 1999), and contributed to their album ‘Desert Skies‘, which was finally released in 2013.

He was also part of alternative rock band Further from early 90’s til their 1997’s breakup. This is Rademaker’s tribute to late Josh Schwartz: ‘ When I met Josh he was 18, still had braces on his teeth and could play guitar like Neil Young and J Mascis. I started two bands with him Further and Beachwood Sparks, he was like a brother to us. Anyone who saw those groups knows that Josh was a supernatural force. An extraordinary guitar player and gifted songwriter. I urge anyone who hasn’t heard his music to do so.

When Josh was diagnosed with ALS he was so brave, he never complained he just immersed himself in listening to music and buying records. I think the best insight into Josh is the fact that just weeks before going into the hospital for the last time, he was still supporting his friends and favorite artists, he bought an Eric Gaffney limited edition signed solo album from Eric’s Bandcamp page knowing that Eric needed the support.

In the last few years Josh was paralyzed by ALS and could only communicate with his eyes through his computer but still loved to have company and host parties, listening to records and watching movies It definitely helped him outlive the doctor’s diagnosed time. They even took him out see his favorite bands, Dinosaur Jr and Neil.

Personally he was a quiet person but not shy. He was incredibly funny as well. He had a knack for the kind of sarcasm that made light of any bad situation. It helped relieve tension on tour or in the studio. He was one of those rare people that really brought out the best in others. It was hard to be a jerk when Josh was around. He really was magic.’

Josh also collaborated with many artists, and also released one album with his solo indie rock project, Painted Hills, in 2010.

Christos Doukakis

Beachwood Sparks – ‘Make It Together’

Further – ‘Modern Problems’

Painted Hills – ‘Come On Down’