Guitarist and vocalist Lolly Vegas, co-founder of the all-Native American rock group Redbone, died March 4 in Reseda, Calif. He was 70 and had been battling cancer for several years, band spokesman Joe Ortiz told Reuters.
Vegas co-wrote the 1970s hit “Come and Get Your Love,” which reached No. 5 on Billboard’s top 100 in 1974. The song’s chorus was incorporated in Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Vegas was responsible for the extensive use of the Leslie rotating speaker effect in electric guitar amplification.
Born in 1939 in Coalinga, Calif., Lolly Vasquez grew up in the Fresno area. He and his brother Patrick took the last name of Vegas formed Redbone in 1969. They were signed to Epic Records that same year. Besides the brothers, the band consisted of Peter DePoe and Anthony Bellamy at the time.
Redbone’s first hit was the single “Maggie” in 1970. In 1995 following a stroke that left him unable to tour Lolly Vegas left the band.
Survivors include his wife, Risa; mother; three brothers, including Patrick; and three sisters.