Tag Archives: January 4th

RIP Mick Karn

Mick Circa 1979

Holy Shit! Just got some more bad news: this time it’s Mick Karn, Bassist for Japan, one of my favorite bands of the late ’70s / early ’80s, who has passed away from cancer at age 52. Here are some of the details from The NME:

Karn, who revealed in June 2010 that he had been diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer, passed away at his Chelsea home today (January 4), according to a statement on Mickkarn.net. The statement added that Karn “was surrounded by his family and friends” at the time of his death, and that he “will be deeply missed by all.” Born Andonis Michaelides in Nicosia, Cyprus, Karn played with Japan from their formation in 1974 until their split in 1982, and again in 1991 during a brief reunion under the new name Rain Tree Crow. He also worked with Gary Numan, Kate Bush and Bauhaus founder member Peter Murphy, with whom he formed Dalis Car in 1984. Karn moved back to Cyprus in 2004 with his wife and son, but returned to London last year. Following his cancer diagnosis, several appeals were launched via Mickkarn.net to help cover medical costs and offer financial support to his family.

Duran Duran bassist John Taylor today paid tribute to Karn on Duranduran.com, calling him “one of the great visual and sound stylists of the late 70s/early 80s.”

Gerry Rafferty, Dead at 63

From MTV Dot Com

Gerry Rafferty, the singer/songwriter behind smooth ’70s hits like “Stuck in the Middle With You,” “Right Down the Line” and “Baker Street” died Tuesday (January 4, 2011). He was 63.

Born in Scotland, Rafferty busked on the streets of Glasgow and formed a folk group called the Humblebums with Billy Connolly, who would go on to become a renowned stand-up comedian and actor. After releasing a pair of albums with the band, Rafferty released a solo record and then formed Stealers Wheel, who scored Stateside success in 1972 — they were viewed as the British Invasion’s answer to Crosby, Stills Nash & Young — with their debut album and, of course, the song “Stuck in the Middle With You, which would achieve additional notoriety when it was prominently featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs some two decades later.

Rafferty would move on from Stealers Wheel and find success as a solo artist with 1978’s City to City, which featured “Right Down the Line” and “Baker Street, which features one of the most legendary saxophone solos in music history and has since been covered by everyone from Waylon Jennings to the Foo Fighters.

His follow-up, 1979’s Night Owl, featured appearances from Richard and Linda Thompson and was a moderate success, though each of his subsequent albums fared poorly on the charts, due in no small part to Rafferty’s reluctance to perform live. He continued to release albums into the 2000s, but for the most part, he disappeared from the public eye, and his later years were marked by a series of reports that suggested he was battling alcoholism. Last month, Rafferty reportedly suffered kidney failure and was placed on life support in an English hospital. U.K. newspaper The Guardian reported that he died at his home in Dorset with his daughter Martha by his side.

Keith Moon Runs Over Bodyguard

On This Date, January 4th, in 1970: Who drummer Keith Moon accidentally ran over and killed his friend and bodyguard Neil Boland while trying to escape a gang of skinheads outside of a pub in Hatfield, U.K. Although Boland’s death was ruled an accident and no criminal charges were ever brought against him, those close to Keith say he was haunted by the accident for the rest of his life.