ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., June 23 (UPI) -- Guitarist Duane Roland, a founder of the rock band Molly Hatchet, has died at his St. Augustine, Fla., home at age 53.
Roland died of natural causes on June 19, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union reported.
Roland played with Molly Hatchet from 1976 to 1990.
"During all that time, Duane was the constant," drummer Bruce Crump told the Times-Union. "I can't imagine playing Molly Hatchet music without Duane Roland. It just wouldn't be the same."
Roland was born in Indiana but moved to Florida with his family as a child. In an interview posted on the Web site of the Southern Rock Allstars, he said in 2003 that he came from a musical family -- his mother was a pianist and his father an "occasional guitarist" -- but the first band he played with was "awful."
After leaving Molly Hatchet, Roland owned an office machine company and also worked as a call center supervisor. He was invited to join the Southern Rock Allstars in 2003.
Molly Hatchet was best known for the 1979 album "Flirtin' with Disaster."