Big Wreck's Brian Doherty Dies


Big Wreck guitarist Brian Doherty has lost his battle with cancer.

The musician died at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to friend James Bukowiec.

“He is in a better place. No more pain. No more struggle,” he wrote on the GoFundMe page set up to collect money for Doherty and his family.

On Thursday morning, Big Wreck frontman Ian Thornley posted a photo of he and Doherty performing on stage together. Fans are sharing condolences in the comments section.

"It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that our brother, Brian Doherty, passed away peacefully yesterday after a prolonged and brave struggle with cancer. Brian started Big Wreck with Ian in their dorm in Boston and his passing is a profound loss to us all. Our deepest condolences go out to Brian's family. He was a good soul who will be missed by all who knew him personally or through the beautiful music he performed." - Big Wreck

A tweet from Monster Truck read: "REST IN POWER Brian Doherty. A player’s player, and a hilarious dude. All the love to his family and friends."

Big Wreck confirmed Doherty’s terminal cancer diagnosis at the end of April.

“We have been in his corner as he went through treatment but regret to have to share that unfortunately the diagnosis is now terminal,” read a message on the band’s Facebook page. "We felt that it was important to make sure everyone understands what's happening here so that we can all send our love, prayers and good thoughts to him.”

“We love Brian to no end as do our fans and we know you'll respect his privacy and support his healing at this time.”

According to Bukowiec, Doherty struggled with addiction during his life and was hoping to launch a music therapy program at Kitchener’s Ray of Hope.

“He really GOT the AA program. It wasn’t just a pose to not be a drinker anymore,” Bukowiec shared in a Facebook post. “He was the one guy out of all the people I reached out to over these last 23 years that seemed to take recovery seriously and prosper.

“He was a tremendous success as witnessed by those that surrounded him through this crushing journey.”

Bukowiec said he will miss the conversations he had with Doherty. “We’d talk for hours on end on managing our expectations, keeping life in perspective and always growing,” he wrote. “While it was some serious stuff, he and I laughed a lot! He was such a wise-ass!"

Doherty, who hailed from Long Island, NY, co-founded Big Wreck in Boston with fellow Berklee College of Music students Ian Thornley, Dave Henning and Forrest Williams. Their debut album, In Loving Memory Of… was released in 1997.

Big Wreck split up in 2002. “There are a lot of reasons for it but essentially the four of us just sort of did it wrong, for lack of a better word,” Thornley told in 2016. “We lost sight of the reasons why we started doing it in the first place.”

Doherty married a Canadian woman and moved in 2002 to Camlachie near Sarnia, Ont., where he formed the indie band Death Of 8 and taught music. Doherty and Thornley reunited in 2010 and Big Wreck released a new album, Albatross, in 2012.