Ricky Wilson was a founding member and lead guitarist for the band The B-52s. Founded in 1976, the group helped put Athens, Georgia on the musical map. While most think of REM and Athens, The B-52s were one of the first musical groups I obsessed over. I loved the fun and quirkiness of the band.
As they were growing in popularity, Ricky Wilson found out he had AIDS and died in 1985. Like so many men who died during the early days of the AIDS crisis, his obituary listed he had died cancer. The band was so crushed by his loss that they did not make anymore music until the release of Cosmic Thing, five years later. It wasn’t until this album was released that band members shared he had died of AIDS related complications.
Whenever I am in Athens, I usually make time to visit Oconee Hill Ce,every and will stop to pay my respects to Ricky. Whenever I visit, there’s always some memento left behind.
If you’ve never seen the AIDS Quilt, you view Ricky’s pieces of the quilt at The National AIDS Memorial.