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2009 kills! Soft Machine icon Hugh Hopper dies

After John Martyn and Ian Carr, 2009 is confirmed as a killer year...

Bass guitarist Hugh Hopper has died at the age of 64, it was announced yesterday, June the 7th. The Kent-born musician is best known as the bass player in Soft Machine which he joined in 1968. He remained with them until 1972 but later became an important part of Soft Machine Legacy which has toured the world in recent years.

Before Soft Machine Hopper worked with Daevid Allen and Robert Wyatt in the Daevid Allen Trio before forming the Wilde Flowers joined by his brother Brian, Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Richard Sinclair. But it was with Wyatt, Allen, Ayers and also Mike Ratledge that he was to make his mark on the history of progressive rock and forward-looking jazz-influenced psychedelic groups of the period and since with his innovative fuzz-bass sound.

After Soft Machine, Hopper worked with a range of groups including the influential Gilgamesh and Isotope and began an association with free jazz saxophonist Elton Dean who joined Soft Machine in 1969. Later important collaborations also included work with the late Pip Pyle, Phil Miller’s In Cahoots and since 2002 with Soft Works which later became Soft Machine Legacy. Hopper had been suffering from leukaemia in recent years. A benefit was held for him at the 100 Club in London last December. He will be sadly missed.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the post and eulogy, thank goodness wyatt's still kicking, thank you so much.. bebop

Anonymous said...

and now Charlie Mariano too! What a terrible year and thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

oh yes terrible year. I still like to hear Hugh Hopper on bass on his first gig with The Soft Machine as support for The Jimi Hendrix Experience on 18 Feb 1969 at Royal Albert Hall. Does anybody can made it avaiable?