Posted in music on January 5, 2011
Mick Karn (born Andonis Michaelides, 24 July 1958 - 4 January 2011) was an English multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter, who came to fame as the bassist for the art rock band Japan, from 1974 to 1982.Karn recently announced on his website that he had been "diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer" and had set up a Paypal link for help from his fans. Karn "passed away peacefully at 4.30pm, 4th January 2011 at home in Chelsea, London. He was surrounded by his family and friends and will be deeply missed by all."
The band Japan, whose other members included David Sylvian, keyboardist Richard Barbieri and Sylvian's brother Steve Jansen as drummer, began as a group of friends, who all studied at the same school... They christened themselves Japan in 1974, signed a recording contract with German disco label Hansa, and became an alternative glam rock outfit in the mould of David Bowie, T.Rex, and The New York Dolls.
As the band started to achieve commercial success with the release of their Tin Drum album, and "Ghosts", which reached the top 5 in 1982, tensions and personality conflicts between band members rose, Tin Drum was to be the band's final studio album.
After Japan broke up, he recorded a solo album before forming Dalis Car with Peter Murphy of the gothic post-punk group Bauhaus, who recorded one album in 1984. In the 1990s he worked with artist David Torn and a number of Japanese musicians, and formed the multinational New Wave band, NiNa. Since then he has worked as a solo artist and as a sculptor, photographer.
Karn has also played on recordings by other artists, contributing bass guitar and saxophone to Gary Numan's Dance album, and playing with Kate Bush and Joan Armatrading.
As Peter Murphy announced on his Facebook page in August and later confirmed by Mick Karn, Dalis Car had reunited and new material was being written for a forthcoming LP. No word on the status of that LP, but Peter Murphy did confirm that they worked together on new material and offered his condolences on his Facebook page:
It's with great sadness and affection and that I hear the news of Mick Karn's passing today. My Love goes out to Kyoko his wife, his son Metis and Mick's unfailing assistant and close friend Debi Zornes who I had the pleasure to meet during the brief spell that Mick and I got to work together this past autumn. Mick's wry sense of humo...ur, keen creativity and graciousness were there even in the times of most physical distress. May he rest in the lap of Compassion.Mick Karn, R.I.P.
Till we meet again.