Who was Boon Gould? A look at the life of the Level 42 star who died aged 64

LEVEL 42 founding member and guitarist Rowland Gould has died aged 64.

Let’s take a closer look at his life of the musician known by his nickname Boon.

Who was Rowland Gould?

Rowland, who was nicknamed Boon as a child by an uncle, was born on March 4, 1955 on the Isle of Wight.

He formed Level 42 with younger brother Phil, who was the band's drummer, along with lead singer Mark King and keyboard player Mike Lindup in 1979.

Among his writing credits is the band's most successful single Lessons in Love, which reached number three in the UK charts in 1986.

The Gould brothers and King grew up on the Isle of Wight, playing in bands together from a young age.

Boon played the guitar and saxophone in the band until 1987, when he left due to health issues.

After spending time away from the limelight in a monastery, he went on to release two solo albums and wrote songs for his friend King, before reuniting with his old band mates for a brief period in 2004.

In October 2012, he once more returned to the stage with Level 42 in Bristol.

How did he die?

Boon was found dead by police at his home in Dorset on April 30, 2019.

There has been no confirmation as to the cause of his death.

On the Level 42 website, a statement said: "It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to tell you of the passing of our dear friend and brother Boon Gould.

"You are at peace now Boon, no more pain mate."

The musician suffered from nervous exhaustion, leading to him having panic attacks on stage while performing with the group.

Have there been any tributes?

Frontman King paid tribute to the musician saying he would suffer "no more pain".

His younger brother Phil, 62, paid tribute to him, saying: "My heart is beyond broken."

Devastated Level 42 fans have paid tribute to Gould.

Roberto Carrasco said: "Boon was often in the background, such a great musician and especially talented in writing brilliant lyrics.


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"Thank you for all the beautiful music and lyrics with your spirit in there over all those years."

Christoph Lammertz said: "Thank you for your very valuable contribution to the fantastic music of my favourite band. Rest in Peace Boon."

And Amal Morgan added: "He was one of the greatest lead guitarists I’ve ever seen and it’s a huge loss to Level 42. Thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.”


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