Ron "Rontrose" Heathman, a guitarist and former member of Southwestern cowpunk outfit Supersuckers, has died. A short statement from the band on Tuesday (Aug. 18) acknowledged the death.

Heathman helped form the Supersuckers alongside fellow guitarist Dan "Thunder" Bolton, drummer Dan "Dancing Eagle" Siegal and frontman Eddie Spaghetti (Edward Daly) in Tucson, Arizona, in 1988. An early-'90s record deal with Sub Pop exposed the punk-minded group to grunge audiences.

With the Supersuckers, Heathman performed on two albums (1992's The Smoke of Hell and 1994's La Mano Cornuda) before taking a brief leave of absence in 1995. He returned a year later to contribute to four more studio efforts from the band. Heathman left the Supersuckers for good in 2009.

This week, the Supersuckers shared news of Heathman's death on Facebook. "Rest in peace brother Ron," the group said in a post containing photos of the late guitarist. "We'll post more once we process this."

Guitarist Rick Jones (Michael Monroe, the Black Halos) was among the first to offer condolences: "Sad to hear about the passing of Ron Heathman," the musician expressed. "We played a lot of shows with Supersuckers back in the day and Ron was always a really sweet guy and a hell of a player."

Photographer Harmony Gerber added, "Ron was a quiet man, but when we did get a chance to chat, he was a clever, quick-witted, guy. He had so much passion for playing music."

A cause of death for Heathman has yet to be revealed.

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