Rob Buck, lead guitarist for the rock band 10,000 Maniacs, died of liver failure Dec. 19, three weeks after he collapsed at his home in western New York. He was 42.

Buck died at the U. of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been on life support in the intensive care unit.

Buck, who last performed with the band on Nov. 6 at a rally for first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign, wrote the music to some of 10,000 Maniacs’ biggest hits, including “These Are Days,” “Hey Jack Kerouac” and “What’s the Matter Here?”

Doctors told Buck a number of years ago that he had a problematic liver. It was not clear what his death would mean to the future of the rock group.

Buck was single and lived in Jamestown, N.Y., where the band was founded in 1981. He began playing guitar at the age of 6 and decided to become a professional at age 16 after seeing the movie “The Jimi Hendrix Story” in 1974.

The band 10,000 Maniacs, which also featured Steven Gustafson, Jerry Augustyniak, John Lombardo and Mary Ramsey, sold millions of recordings including albums “The Wishing Chair,” “In My Tribe,” “Blind Man’s Zoo,” “Our Time in Eden” and “MTV Unplugged.”

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