Boon Gould, the founding member of English band Level 42, has been found dead at his home, his bandmates confirmed. The guitarist, whose real name is Rowland Gould, was discovered dead by police in Dorset this week.
The band's frontman Mark King took to Facebook to share a statement announcing the tragic news. He wrote, "It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to tell you of the passing of our dear friend and brother Boon Gould. Dorset Police confirmed that he was found dead at his home on Tuesday morning. You are at peace now Boon, no more pain mate. Thank you for everything. Mark x."
Boon's brother Phil, who was the band's drummer, also wrote, "My heart is beyond broken. RIP Roland Charles "Boon" Gould, my brother, 1955-2019." Boon had formed the band with Phil, Mark, and keyboard player Mike Lindup in 1979. The band's song 'Lessons In Love' which had hit number three on the UK charts in 1986 was written by him. The Gould brothers and Mark grew up playing in bands together from a young age.
Rowland was given his nickname Boon when he was a child by his uncle who said that his inability to cry was a "boon for the family". Boon played the guitar and the saxophone until 1987 and had to leave the band due to health issues. He was suffering from nervous exhaustion which resulted in him having panic attacks on stage while performing with the band.
He went to a monastery and spent time there, before releasing two solo albums. He also wrote some songs for his friend Mr. King and then reunited with his band for a brief while in 2004. In October 2012, he returned to the stage along with Level 42 in Bristol.
The band's fans and followers have taken to social media to pay their respects. One fan wrote, "A little bit of my heart just broke — I cannot imagine how you, Mike and Phil must be feeling. Rest in peace Boon, you will always be in our hearts — millions of them xxxx."