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RIP Brian Doherty, Guitarist for Big Wreck

We’re incredibly sad to learn that Brian Doherty, the long-time and widely loved guitarist for Big Wreck, has passed away. Brian had been battling cancer for the past year and learned a few months ago that it had become terminal.

Brian’s friend, James Bukowiec, set up a GoFundMe campaign to provide financial assistance to Brian’s family and it remains active. On the page today, Bukowiec wrote:

“I am sad to announce that Brian passed away at 11:30 last night June 5th 2019. Your donations and comments touched his heart and lifted his spirits. Your care for him and his family brought him an appreciation and a peace in his last days. Your donations will make a difference. He is in a better place. No more pain. No more struggle. Just pure joy, face to face with Our Lord Jesus, creator and lover of his soul. Thank you all again.”

Via Twitter, Brian’s bandmates in Big Wreck said today:

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that our brother, Brian Doherty, passed awar peacefully yesterday after a prolonged and brave struggle with cancer. Brian started Big Wreck with Ian in their dorm in Boston and his passing is a profound loss to us all. Our deepest condolences go out to Brian’s family. He was a good soul who will be missed by all who knew him personally or through the beautiful music he performed.”

Just recently, in an update on the GoFundMe page, Brian said, “As hard as the realization is that this is a terminal condition, there is one bright spot. Through this whole process I have been able to reflect on some of the best moments of my life. I have been blessed with so many things, not the least of which has been being able to use the gift of music, playing in Big Wreck, through whom I have met many wonderful people in so many great places. I realize that even though these experiences are passing, life is still really good. We have been praying for a miracle from God; for a cure. But a miracle has been all around me from the very start. Many moments along the way have brought me to tears in recognition.”

Rest in peace, Brian. We at Canadian Musician send our warmest thoughts and condolences to Brian's family, bandmates, and many friends.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.