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.