1953-1977. Guitarist, writer. From Cleveland; a co-founder of the proto-punk Rocket from the Tombs, one of those many misunderstood early-70s bands formed by the children of Iggy and the Velvets. Laughner joined RftT lead singer David Thomas in forming Pere Ubu (co-guitarist Cheetah Chrome ended up founding the Dead Boys with Stiv Bators); some of his material from those days includes "Life Stinks", "Final Solution", and "30 Seconds Over Tokyo".

Laughner was one of the gonzo-est rock'n'rollers there ever was, but he ended up overgonzoing. He moved to Manhattan, and essentially drank himself to death, but the corpse kept kickin' out the jams for a while, before succumbing to acute pancreatitis. There is little recorded evidence of his non-Ubu work; every few years, an album appears, of something done in Cleveland or New York, but it goes out of print quickly.

Occasional jamming, drinking, and drugging buddy of Lester Bangs, a fellow gonzo émigré to NYC, who wrote a great eulogy, of sorts, in New York Rocker, including...

I volunteer not to feel anything about him from this day out, but I will not forget that this kid killed himself for something torn T-shirts represented in the battle fires of his ripped emotions, and that does not make your T-shirts profound, on the contrary, it makes you a bunch of assholes if you espouse what he latched onto in support of his long death agony, and if I have run out of feeling for the dead I can also truly say that from here on out I am only interested in true feeling, and the pursuit of some ultimate escape from that was what killed Peter, which is all I truly know of his life, except that the hardest thing in this living world is to confront your own pain and go through it, but somehow life is not a paltry thing after all next to this child's inheritance of eternal black. So don't anybody try to wave good-bye.

But Lester didn't heed the canary in the soul mine; he died himself, five years later. Do you want to be a dead legend or a living nobody?

Peter missed out on all the fun. So did Lester.

See also Peter Laughner on Coney Island Baby.

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