Randy Rand, the founding bassist for the 1980s rock band Autograph, has died. The news was confirmed by the band in a social media post.
The statement read: “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart to announce the unexpected passing of our dear friend and founding member of Autograph, Randy Rand.
“At the time of death, Randy was surrounded by his beautiful and endless love, Regina Rand and family.
“Although more than devastated, we find some comfort and solace knowing that the last two years have been some of the happiest as an artist and performer. Randy was a consummate optimist and very excited to see the new direction, creativity and energy renewed with the band You could feel her excitement as it was quite palpable with her playing skills, performances and the way she interacted with her loving fans.
“As many of you know, Randy hit the Sunset Strip music scene in the late ’70s and was an accomplished musician and seasoned studio musician when he rose to fame as an original member of Autograph.
“Fast forward 40 years, our brother was still making an impact in the music field with his charismatic stage presence, musical contributions, most notably with the release of our new album and collaboration with Frontiers.
“Sadly, there is only one Randy: a fabulous bassist, bandmate, brother, and human being. Collectively, over the past few years with this line-up, we have spent numerous hours that have turned into something magical as we have created an unbreakable bond. Few bands are lucky. “enough to ever experience. We had that…and with that, we will continue to honor Randy Rand, as he would have us do, and honor our musical commitments and keep his legacy alive.”
Rand played in the Los Angeles club band Wolfgang in the 1970s and formed Autograph in Pasadena in 1984 with guitarist Steve Lynch, frontman Steve Plunkett, keyboardist Steven Isham, and drummer Keni Richards. A friendship with David Lee Roth led to Autograph playing their first live shows opening for Van Halen, still unsigned, and the meteoric start was confirmed later. Turn on the radiothe first single from the debut album Sign in pleaseit became a hit on MTV.
The band fell apart after two more albums, never coming close to the success of Turn on the radio.
“Grunge came along and we hair bands couldn’t get a gig anywhere,” Rand told Classic Rock in 2015. “How did that make me feel? Angry and disappointed. I had been working on music since the early ’70s.” and it hurt me to be thrown out.”
Autograph reformed in 2013, and a reconfigured lineup (Isham had died in 2008, singer Plunkett had chosen not to be part of the reform, and Richards left in 2014) released the stronger EP in 2016, and an album, take off your assNext year.
Away from the gang, Rand learned leathercraft and owned a business called Randy Rand Leather Inc. He was also a partner in Woof Wear, a company that made dog collars and leashes.
Guitarist Lynch left in 2019, leaving Rand as the sole founding member. The band was still active, with Autograph playing with Stephen Pearcy of Ratt and Quiet Riot in September.
“We don’t have management, and we don’t mind getting in the van to drive six hours to a show,” Rand said. Classic rock. “That wasn’t always true. [laughs]. We’re not crybaby anymore, we do this out of love.”
No cause of death has been confirmed. Original Autograph drummer Keni Richards died in 2017.