Mick Karn

Multi-instrumentalist Mick Karn — a peerless bassist who played in the acclaimed art-rock act Japan from the mid-’70s through the early ’80s and teamed up with Peter Murphy for the singer’s post-Bauhaus project Dalis Car — died today following a six-month battle with cancer. He was 52.

According to a statement posted on Karn’s website:

“It’s with profound sadness that we have to inform you that Mick finally lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at 4.30pm today, 4th January 2011 at home in Chelsea, London. He was surrounded by his family and friends and will be deeply missed by all.”

Born Andonis Michaelides in Cyprus, Karn played with Japan from 1974 until its break-up  in 1982 after the band’s “Ghosts” single hit the Top 5. Following the break-up, Karn released a solo album and then joined Murphy in Dalis Car to record The Waking Hour in 1984.

Last fall, Murphy announced he’d reached out to his ailing former bandmate and planned, in September, to begin recording a second Dalis Car album. Murphy, in a note titled “Just for Love” posted on Facebook this evening, confirmed they worked together last fall.

Murphy wrote:

“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 humour, keen creativity and graciousness were there even in the times of most physical distress. May he rest in the lap of Compassion.

“Till we meet again.”

Former Japan bandmate David Sylvian took to his own website this afternoon and wrote of Karn, “May his suffering be at an end, may he find eternal peace.”


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