Jon Ster, who played in bands including Lillian Axe, Stiff and Brand New Machine, has died. The 52-year-old guitarist (second from the left in above photo) passed away Nov. 29 in a Dallas, Texas hospital of heart failure.

After the Michigan glam band Stiff broke up, several members including Ster joined Lillian Axe, who released their self-titled debut album in 1988. He also appeared on 1989's 'Love + War, 1992's 'Poetic Justice' and 1993's 'Psychoschizophrenia.' Lillian Axe split up in 1995, and Ster did not rejoin the band when they reunited a few years later. He went on to play in groups including Brand New Machine.

Lillian Axe's Steve Blaze issued a statement on the band's Facebook page about his former bandmate:

It is with a very sad heart that I am posting these words. I am not, nor ever have been, very good at dealing with death. It's only been in the past 12 years since my Dad passed, that I was able to handle these times of loss without going into severe depression. I owe that all to God and his understanding of how much it hurts us as His children when we have to say goodbye to our loved ones. This weekend we all had to say goodbye to our dear friend and brother Jon Ster. If I talk about how sad I am, it will only make you all that much more upset, so I will talk about Jon in a way that you who didn't know him well might understand how he made this planet a better place. I first met him on the road, where else?, when Lillian Axe would cross paths with Stiff. They would play the same circuits we were, and I always thought about what a truly funny, happy and cool individual he was. I swear I can barely picture him without a smile ten miles wide. When I was blessed with my record deal, I was dealing with Ron and Rob mainly. It was originally going to be a one guitar band. I remember Jon came to my house in Mississippi with Ron and Rob. He was there to hang out and maybe play keys here and there. Then when he got there I realized what a huge talent he was! He was solid, great guitarist, played keys, sang well and beyond all else, he was a star! He made people laugh, smile, and want to be around him. I immediately knew Lillian was now going to have 2 guitarists! Over the last few years, even when I only saw him occasionally, we always picked up where we left off....laughing, smiling, and telling the many stories from our 12 years together in Lillian Axe. I never heard or saw him in a bad mood. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He love being on the road, and he loved everything having to do with playing music. He was the guy everyone wanted to hang out with after the show. Just look at the pictures of him on stage! Is there even one without that smile?
Jon, I am going to miss you, just knowing you are in heaven waiting for us to see you again. You are probably telling corny jokes to Jesus as we speak. To all of his friends, fans and family, please don't get depressed. Be sad because loss is sad, especially when it happens to people who have made our lives better and that we care about. It's ok to grieve. But we are all blessed that he left behind pieces of himself that will always exist. Memories and music. He was a huge part of Lillian Axe and those albums he left behind. His imprint will live forever on that music. So, whenever you think about him, put on See You Someday, shed a tear, and then put on My Number and picture him starting the riff with a smile bigger than the rest of his face.
I love you Jon, my brother.....keep the amps warmed up.

Brantly Thompson, who played with Ster in Brand New Machine, posted this on the band's Facebook page:

With a heavy heart and a lot of tears we say goodbye to our friend, our brother and co-founder of Brand New Machine, Jon Ster. He was the wittiest, tender hearted and one of the most talented guys I have ever met. His laugh was infectious and he would light up a room just by walking in. The world was a much better place with Jon in it and he left us a legacy of great music, a beautiful daughter and tons of amazing memories. I'm going to miss you and your famous one liners my friend. Thank you for being a part of my life. Rest well, I love you brother.

We'd lile to send our condolences to Ster's family, friends and bandmates.

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