The English musician and songwriter were Gordon Haskell. He was a school friend of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, a pop, rock and blues vocalist, guitarist, and bassist, the first two performing together in the League of Gentlemen’s teenage party of Fripp in the mid-1960s (not to be confused with Fripp’s later new wave band). He was born on 27 April 1946 in Verwood, Dorset, England.
Haskell first gained recognition for the British band The Fleur de Lys as a bass player and then spent a short time in King Crimson singing one of the songs on their second album and on their third album singing and playing bass.
He was 74 years old.
He started his musical career as a solo artist after leaving King Crimson, eventually gaining international attention in 2001 with his hit single, How Wonderful You Are, followed by Harry’s Bar, his platinum-selling album.
When King Crimson parted company with original singer Greg Lake, Haskell was asked to be the bassist and vocalist in the transitional King Crimson line-up of 1970. He appeared on the albums In the Wake of Poseidon (although only for one song) and Lizard. Haskell’s preference for Nat King Cole and Ray Charles’s songs, however, led to discontent in the band of Fripp, and his folk and blues-oriented tastes were at odds with the more nuanced progressive rock musical style of Crimson.
Following the recording of Lizard, Haskell left the band acrimoniously, during rehearsals for expected live work. He objected to the manipulation of his vocal contributions, the use of distortion, and acceleration, feeling that it would hurt his reputation.
On the Polish album charts, his next album reached number 14. It included eleven songs, was recorded by Hamish Stuart and starred Tony O’Malley and Robbie McIntosh, and was called The Lady Wants To Know.
In 2005, a DVD, The Road To Harry’s Bar, was released and Haskell also published his autobiography under the same title, with the foreword written by Reginald Perrin’s The Fall and Rise creator, David Nobbs.
He returned to the UK in 2017 for a British tour with Hannah’s Yard after commuting from the Greekislandof Skopelos for eight years and intended to continue to tour and record as and when he chose. He was a UK resident.
The death of Haskell was announced via Fripp’s Discipline Global Mobile website on 18 October 2020. On his official Facebook page, news of the musician’s passing was revealed late last night. In the post read: “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.”
Sorry to hear that Gordon Haskell has died. I was lucky enough to interview him just after the success of How Wonderful You Are. I loved the way he used to say it took him 55 years to become an overnight success! Probably the most unpopstarry pop star I’ve ever met! pic.twitter.com/I9aFPLzCNS