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Mick Karn dies of cancer, aged 52

Terry Lane - Wednesday 05.01.11, 16:15pm

Mick Karn, former bass player with 1980’s pop group, Japan, died yesterday afternoon following a battle with cancer. He was just 52 years old.

Mick Karn who was born Andonis Michaelides in Cyprus and passed away peacefully in his Chelsea home yesterday surrounded by friends and family.

In June 2010, Mick Karn announced on his website that he had been diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer.

He formed Japan when he was just 15, along Richard Barbieri and brothers David Sylvian and Steve Jansen in 1974.  Originally influenced by the New York Dolls they went on to become popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s before splitting in 1982.

Their debut album Adolescent Sex was released in 1978 but their third album, Quiet Life, released in 1979 saw the band gain more commercial success as their sound erred away from guitar-based rock to a more sophisticated electronic sound.

Japan’s final UK performance came in November 1982, culminating in a six-night sell-out stint at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

Following Japan, Mick Karn recorded a debut solo album, Titles, and recorded one album as Dali’s Car in 1984 along with Peter Murphy of Bauhaus.  He also played bass and saxophone on Gary Numan’s album, Dance as well as working with other artisits including Kate Bush and Joan Armatrading.

On hearing this tragic news David Sylvian said: ‘May his suffering be at an end, may he find eternal peace.’

Mick Karn (24 July 1958 – 4 January 2011) R.I.P.

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  • 1 Joy Andrews // Jan 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Sad news!! Great article Terry!

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