Elusive 'Goodbye Horses' Singer Q Lazzarus Dies at 61

Elusive 'Goodbye Horses' Singer Q Lazzarus Dies at 61

by Camille Bavera

Q Lazzarus, whose cult-classic song "Goodbye Horses" was featured in Silence of the Lambs, has died at 61. An obituary published by the Asbury Park Press noted that Diane Luckey, Lazzarus' birth name, died on July 19.

Luckey was a New York City cab driver back in the '80s after moving there from her hometown of Neptune, New Jersey to pursue a career in music at 18 with her band under the name Q Lazzarus and the Resurrection. Their big break came one day when filmmaker Jonathan Demme jumped in the backseat of Luckey’s cab. She played Demme the band’s demo while she was listening to her band’s tape, preparing to record them the following day. After quickly becoming a fan, he took the song "Candle Goes Away" and included it in his 1986 film Something Wild.

After that, the faithful Demme used the band’s song "Goodbye Horses" in both Married to the Mob and Silence of the Lambs. This track was the only commercially available song by Lazzarus and appeared in the iconic Lambs scene where Buffalo Bill proposes sex to himself in a mirror. Following its success, the song was covered by groups such as MGMT and Jon Hopkins.

Despite her Demme-induced popularity in the ‘80s and ‘90s, including an appearance in his 1993 film Philadelphia, Luckey disappeared from the public eye in 1996 following the dissolution of her band. No one heard from the singer for over 20 years until a Twitter account claiming to be Luckey got in contact with a Dazed reporter, who documented the search for the elusive singer in 2018. She confirmed she was alive and was working as a bus driver in Staten Island. Luckey is survived by her husband and two children.

The obituary gave hope that the world would once again see work by Q Lazzarus, now to be carried out in her memory. "At the time of her death, Diane was finishing work on a feature documentary about her life and music with filmmaker and friend, Eva Aridjis," it reads. "The film will be released in 2023, along with an album of songs spanning her entire musical career."

Both friend and collaborator, Aridjis opened up to Rolling Stone about the project and her newfound determination to complete the project alone. "Q had a spirit that was truly unique and irreplaceable, not just for her loved ones in their daily lives but to the creative community as a whole,” Aridjis said. "The film will no longer end with her comeback concert and her 'resurrection' — but I am glad that the world will still get to hear her story — in her own words and through her own songs — a precious task which she entrusted me with and which I will be forever grateful for."

The upcoming documentary will cover the years in which no one could find Luckey, and will also include never before heard music recorded during the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Photo via YouTube