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Gordon Haskell 1946 – 2020

by Sam Kelly on November 11th, 2020

I was very sad to hear that my old mate, Gordon Haskell, died on 15th October 2020 following a short run-in with lung cancer.  We are “family” he used to say. 

Sharing this with you …. Written by Kevin Johnson, No Treble 

“Haskell was born in Dorset, England and was a high school friend to King Crimson founder Robert Fripp. The two played together in the mid-60s, but Haskell moved to London and joined the psychedelic pop group Fleur De Lys. The band was hired by Atlantic Records as a full-time session band with Haskell playing bass and singing. It was here he connected with important producers of the time including Glyn Johns, Arif Mardin, and George Martin. He would release a solo album to little acclaim.

In 1970, Fripp asked him to join the lineup for King Crimson after original bassist/vocalist Greg Lake quit. He sang on one song for In the Wake of Poseidon and played and sang for the entirety of Lizard. However, Haskell’s musical tastes of folk and blues did not gel with the progressive and aggressive direction the band was heading in. He left the group in the same year.

Haskell then launched his solo career with 1971’s It Is and It Isn’t, which would feature future Crimson bassist John Wetton on the low end. He spent the next 30 years releasing music with little to no commercial success. That all changed in 2001 when he scored a surprise hit with “How Wonderful You Are.” It scaled the UK pop charts and reinvigorated his music career.

The session featured Peter Stroud on acoustic bass guitar. “As a band with Sam Kelly on drums and guitarist Robbie Macintosh and Paul Yeung on sax, we appeared as a ‘seasoned’ band of musos on Top Of The Pops, but maybe slightly unknown enough (!) to stop Robbie Williams reaching number one pre Christmas,” Stroud told us via email. “Gordon managed the number two spot, not too bad at all! I believe he played bass at some point in Cliff Richards band too. He had a wry sense of humor and was always a pleasure to work alongside.” Haskell’s latest album, The Cat Who’s Got the Cream, was released earlier this year.”   

I was very pleased to have worked with Gordon over the years and this really great track is an all-time favourite of mine.  Plus it is one of the very few times you will ever get to see me in a “Tuxedo” !!

Gordon was a great man and I shall miss him.

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