Gared O’Donnell, the frontman for Planes Mistaken for Stars, died at the age of 44. Due to a fight with cancer, the singer and guitarist passed away on November 24th. The passing of the influential and much-loved full-bodied artist has been felt around the world of music.
Diseases he was suffering from and more
O’Donnell stated in August 2020 that he had been diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer. Emily Francis, the band’s manager, claimed the cancer was inoperable in a statement and a GoFundMe campaign that coincided with the announcement. Planes Mistaken for Stars was formed in 1997 by O’Donnell, guitarist Mat Bellinger, drummer Mike Ricketts, and bassist Aaron Wise in Peoria, Illinois. The band relocated to Denver, Colorado after releasing a self-titled EP and a 7-inch. They released their first album, Fuck With Fire, on No Idea Records in 2001, followed by Up in Them Guts in 2004.
Following the release of their third album Mercy in 2006, the band disbanded until 2010, when they began performing on a limited basis.
Prey, the group’s fourth album, was released in 2016, and it was O’Donnell’s final album with them. Planes Mistaken for Stars said in a statement that O’Donnell was working on new music in private and that they want to share it in the future. The band continues, “Gared spent the last year of his life doing exactly what he loved, composing and recording music.”
“Right now, we’re putting in a lot of effort to finish these various last projects.
It’s difficult to go through this without him, but we know he’d want us to finish what we started together. We will do everything we can to respect his memory and spread the word about the mythology he personified.” Touché Amoré, Pianos Become the Teeth, and La Dispute are among the artists that have paid tribute to O’Donnell, citing his influence on the punk and emo culture in general.
“Wouldn’t be who I am today as an artist and a person without the presence of Planes and Gared in my life over the last 20 years,” La Dispute tweeted.
“The debt is large and unpayable, and many of us are responsible for it.
Requiescat. We’re on our way to fight.”
Reaction of his bandmates
They began their emotional statement by saying, “It is impossible to express the depth of sorrow with which we must announce that Gared O’Donnell, our brother, our leader, our captain, who has done more to cultivate love and light in this world than any of us can comprehend, has moved on from his physical form here with us and crossed the rainbow bridge into the eternal ether,” “He was surrounded by the love of his family, friends, bandmates, and many others from afar in his final days/hours,” they said. “A titan, a pillar, a beacon, he impacted and inspired everyone who knew him.” “The gift he gave us was himself, completely unselfishly pouring his life, love, and soul out to the world in such an honest way that it hurt,” his bereft pals added.
They posted a photo of Gared relaxing on the hood of his truck, referring to him as a “mythical beast” and praising him for contributing to the formation of their “fan family.” Gared always reminded us to look after one other at the end of each Planes episode…They went on to say, “A call for us to cherish every heartbreaking, beautiful, and terrifying moment life has to give.” “So thank you all for your love and support over the years,” the band concluded in a clear tribute to their loving fans who mourned the death of their vocalist. Because of that, his life became fuller.”He spent the previous year creating and recording music after revealing his cancer diagnosis, and his Planes Mistaken For Stars colleagues announced that his work would be released posthumously. “We are currently working hard to complete these various final tasks,” they wrote, adding that Gared would have wanted them to “finish what we had started together.”Heartbroken fans have paid respect to Gared since the band acknowledged his death, and they’ve shared their favourite memories of him in the comments section of the post.”A titan onstage, a poet in his lyrics, and a goddamn amazing songwriter.” “It’s impossible to put into words the mountains of inspiration Gared has bestowed upon so many of us,” one person commented.
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