Axl Rose's former sidekick reportedly passed away on 14 January (16) after suffering two heart attacks brought on by pneumonia.

Lawrence was best known for his time with 1980s band Rapidfire. The group, which was fronted by Axl Rose, recorded an EP days before they broke up in 1983. Lawrence released the album in 2014 after years of legal wranglings with Rose's lawyers.

"To all Friends, Fans and Supporters of Kevin Lawrence and his band, Rapidfire, Kevin loved you all," a message on the Rapidfire Facebook.com page reads. "He was constantly inspired by your interest, your enthusiasm and your encouragement.

"He was as genuine a person as can be, uniquely creative and insatiably imaginative. He was also an extremely generous and good natured man, truly caring for his loyal friends and his beloved dogs...

"He was a true rock n' roller. He leaves us with his giant grin, encouraging us all to give the rest of the world a giant, extended middle finger."