Japan bassist Mick Karn dies at 52

5

January

Mick Karn of JapanMick Karn, bass player in the 1980s group Japan, has died, the Associated Press is reporting. He was 52 years old.

"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," a message on his official website reads. "He was surrounded by his family and friends and will be deeply missed by all."

Duran Duran bassist John Taylor paid tribute to Karn in a message posted on his band's website: "Nick and I first saw Japan at Barbarellas in Birmingham on their Obscure Alternatives tour and were blown away. They were so fresh, while every other band in town were tripping over each other in a rush to play the same three chords, Japan were brave in many ways. When I think back to that night the image that first comes to mind first is beautiful Mick, red hair and Ibanez bass, shaved eyebrows and ballet shoes, shuffling around the floor like a docile robot, playing also with great beauty and verve, punching delicate holes in the fabric of the songs; in Mick Karn’s basslines no notes were ever wasted. ... Mick changed my life in a good way ... He shall be missed."

Karn was co-founder of Japan along with David Sylvian and Steve Jansen in 1974 in London. The group's 1982 album, Tin Drum, included the hit song, Ghosts. It would also be their final album, though several members of the band (including Karn) reformed in the '90s under the name Rain Tree Crow.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 6:05pm]

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