Sterling Morrison, a guitarist in the Velvet Underground, a New York band that helped originate punk music, died on Aug. 30 of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 53.

Morrison died at his home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., after a long battle with the disease, A&M Records said.

Morrison, Lou Reed, John Cale and Maureen Tucker made up the original rock band that was associated with pop artist Andy Warhol and the East Village underground art scene in lower Manhattan in the early 1960s.

The band was known for a seering punk style and was most famous for such songs as “Heroin” and “Sweet Jane.”

After the group disbanded in 1971, Morrison worked as a medieval scholar, a tugboat captain and toured with Maureen Tucker’s band in the 1980s. He also went on the Velvet Underground’s 1993 European reunion tour.

He is survived by Martha Dargan Morrison, his wife of 24 years, and their two children.

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