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Anthony Strutt pays tribute to the former Primal Scream guitarist Robert 'Throb' Young, who died at the age of 49 on the 9th September
Robert “Throb” Young, of Primal Scream has passed away at the tender age of a mere 49 years. He was original founder member of the band from when they first got together in 1982, and remained with them until 2006 when he was allegedly asked to leave because of his habits!
Robert, or as us hardcore fans knew him, Throb, looked the rock star much more than their front-man Bobby Gillespie ever could. With his long hair and tight leather trousers, he oozed cool on the band’s 1987 debut album, ‘Sonic Flower Groove’. Primal Scream may have topped the indie charts, but in my early years they were a tribute band to the great bands of their and our past and ‘Sonic Flower Groove’ was a homage to the Byrds.
As soon as Jim Beattie, their first guitarist, left later on in 1987, Throb downed his first instrument of the bass and picked up a flying V guitar, and the band moved along to a sound found on Elektra Records in approximately 1968/1969 via the grunge of MC5 and the Stooges, for their next album, 1989’s self-titled ‘Primal Scream’. Throb really pushed the sound forward, and, while not be easily digestible by most at that stage, Primal Scream up until about 1991 were great to my ears, as they played every dive bar in the country.
They finally met with major success after they took up the sounds of Acid House that delivered the 1991 album ‘Screamadelica’, which won the first Mercury Prize, before moving on again with the Black Stax-influenced ‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up’ (1994).
There were four other albums that featured Throb, the alternative soundtrack to 1971 road movie ‘Vanishing Point’ (1997), the industrial-influenced ‘XTRMNTR’ (2000), and ‘Evil Heat’ (2002) and ‘Riot City Blues’ (2006). For me, however, Primal Scream will always be to me that band pre-fame that gave me loads of pleasure and that C86 jangly guilty pleasure, Rest in Peace, Robert.