Early ’70s King Crimson vocalist Gordon Haskell, RIP
Gordon Haskell, who was in King Crimson in 1970 and sang on their albums In the Wake of Poseidon and Lizard, has passed away. A post on his Facebook page on Sunday broke the news, reading: "It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Gordon, a great musician and a wonderful person who will be sadly missed by so many." Cause of death is not known. He was 74.
A post on King Crimson's website details Gordon's history with the band, reading:
Gordon briefly joined King Crimson in 1970 after appearing as a guest vocalist on In The Wake Of Poseidon singing Cadence & Cascade. He was asked to join the band full-time in the summer of that year and provided bass and vocals on Lizard, the last album King Crimson recorded at Wessex Studios. The experience was not a happy one for Gordon and he bitterly regretted his decision to join.
Gordon's Crimson connection date back further having been a member of the original League of Gentlemen back in the early 1960s while he and Robert Fripp were at school together.
In March 1970, after Greg Lake moved on to get ELP underway, Fripp invited Gordon to provide guest vocals on "Cadence and Cascade" for In The Wake of Poseidon, which in turn led Gordon to join the core group recording Lizard to that summer where he provided bass and vocals.
Feeling little empathy for the music Fripp was writing, Haskell quit the band ahead of a prospective European tour in 1970 before the release of Lizard.
After quitting King Crimson in acrimonious circumstances, Haskell continued his career as a solo artist. It Is And It Isn’t (1971) featured John Wetton and contained a song called Worms which would be later covered by Stackridge on their 1975 album Extravaganza, under the title No One’s More Important Than The Earthworm. Though he continued to record sporadically, Haskell experienced times of great deprivation, including time spent as an entertainer on cruises, “playing to people too pissed to care”. Occasionally his King Crimson past would come back to haunt him with requests at solo shows to sing Cadence And Cascade, a song he grew to detest. Haskell was invited to attend the annual reunion of his old ’60s group, The League Of Gentlemen. “I turned down the first one where they drank to my health like I was sick or something but the second time I thought, well I’m really going to enjoy this with the old boys. Then Fripp comes waltzing down the passage shouting ‘Respect! Respect! Butterfly In China (Haskell’s 1996 album)’ like a lunatic. We hug each other and I say to him, ‘It’s just like the old days when we were kids,’ and he says, “Did you ever grow up?’”
As the post also points out, Gordon released his latest solo album (and first in ten years), The Cat Who's Got The Cream, earlier this year.
Rest in peace, Gordon.
Listen to some of his music with King Crimson and watch some of his videos below...