Winter Hours Guitarist Michael Carlucci Dead at 58

Matt Pinfield and others pay tribute to the New Jersey musician.

The music community is mourning the passing of Michael Carlucci, guitarist of the seminal New Jersey alternative band Winter Hours.

Carlucci passed away on Thursday, Oct. 29 from a heart attack, according to blurtonline.com.

Born in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, Carlucci was an important presence in the independent music scene as the owner of New York City’s Subterranean Records and CDs. The store was so influential, musician Patti Smith insisted on being photographed there when she was profiled in a magazine article.

Since his death, his Facebook page has been flooded with moving tributes and remembrances from fans of Winter Hours, the record store, and musicians who took lessons from the guitarist who was known for his jangly, 12-string style of playing. 

MTV VJ and Sirius Radio host Matt Pinfield remembered Carlucci as an enthusiastic fan of music with great taste on Facebook, writing, “Mike used to come to my parent’s house and bring the only VHS tapes we could find of David Bowie, Lou Reed, The Doors and so many other cool artists in the pre-MTV days. We were hungry collectors of music by artists we loved.”

“Mike was a friend, musician and confidante who knew that a life in music was the only option, since like myself, he lived and breathed music from the time we were kids,” he tells Billboard. “It was very sad news. We will miss him.”

Winter Hours released two albums and three EPs before disbanding. Their song "Smoke Rings" peaked at number 12 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1989. The band featured vocalist Joe Marques, who died in 2003. A tribute to the group, A Few Uneven Rhymes, was released by Main Man Records in 2009. It featured tributes by The Violent Femmes, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Luna, and Glenn Mercer of The Feelies.

He is survived by his parents Rosemary (nee D'Amico) and Michael T. Carlucci, Sr., by his sisters, Rosemary Carlucci and Cynthia Capozzi. He was 58.

Listen to "Smoke Rings" below: