Candy Harlots guitarist Marc Lee Dé Hugar dies aged 52

Marc Lee Dé Hugar
(Image credit: Mark Easton/Facebook)

Marc Lee Dé Hugar, guitarist for Sydney-hailing glam-rock outfit Candy Harlots, has died aged 52.

Though the cause of death hasn't been officially revealed, Australian publication Loud Mag notes that he suffered a “long battle with emphysema and debilitating lung conditions” and passed away on January 7.

Paying tribute on social media on Saturday (January 8), Hugar's Candy Harlots bandmate Mark Easton wrote: “It's with great sadness [that] I regretfully have to tell you that the founding guitarist of Candy Harlots, Marc Dé Hugar, has passed away at 52 in hospital yesterday.”

He continued: “Marc was 17 when he joined the band, after he played me a tape of his playing. He played so fast I thought he had sped the tape up, so I went around to his grandmother's house in Paddington to see if he was for real and he proceeded to blow me away!”

Easton added that Hugar was a “guitar genius”, offering his thoughts for the guitarist's family and friends.

Hugar joined Candy Harlots shortly after the band's inception in 1987, when Easton – who at that time was playing alongside guitarist Ron Barrett, bassist Nick Szentkuti and drummer Tony Cardinal – discovered him in Melbourne, Hugar's hometown. 

During their tenure, the band racked up a considerable following in the Sydney pub rock scene, supported such acts as Cheap Trick, The Cult, Divinyls and The Angels, and developed a friendship with American rock outfit Skid Row.

Candy Harlots enjoyed an eight-year run until their disbandment in 1995, though both Hugar and Easton left the band in 1991, prior to the release of their first and only full-length album, 1992's Five Wicked Ways.

Shortly thereafter, Hugar – along with his former Candy Harlots bandmate Tony Cardinal – joined Brisbane-based band Screaming Tribesman. Other bands the guitarist played with during his career included Freekshow, Brindle Suite, Toychild and Evolution X.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.