I try hard not to make the In Deep Music Archive posts a graveyard of obituaries despite the continuous high profile deaths, most recently musicians Glen Campbell, Walter Becker, Mick Softley, John Abercrombie and the terrible news yesterday that Swedish guitarist Peter Puders, who I knew from living in Stockholm, had taken his own life. Also record producer Tony Cohen, who produced, co-produced or engineered the dark innovative Melbourne bands, including The Birthday Party and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The Moodists, Models, Hunters And Collectors (named after the CAN song) and Crime And The City Solution. He also produced The Go-Betweens, The Reels, The Cruel Sea, The Beasts Of Bourbon – the list is long.
These artists that we have lost are mentioned because I have their records, the list of deaths is much longer than this and those mentioned above are the ones we lost just in August.
Last week I posted about one of my all time heroes Holger Czukay, one of the most talented sound experimentalists and manipulators, bassist, founder of CAN and starring in one of the most humorous videos I have ever seen for Cool In The Pool from 1979. I mentioned to Olivia we should go visit him (I met him once in Cologne where he had a studio near to where Olivia is from and as we visit there regularly I suggested we should look him up). About ten minutes ago I heard he had died.
Holger Czukay was one of my great inspirations, I have all of his records as a CAN member, soloist and collaborator (Ok I may be missing some harder to find items) but my love for him ran deep. He is now the third member of CAN to leave us after my other hero, CAN drummer Jaki Liebezeit, died 0n the 22nd January this year. Michael Karoli, CAN guitarist, died in November 2001. Apparently Czukay’s wife Ursula died on the 28th of July, 24 years younger than Holger, she was just 55 and this was her birthday. Did Holger die of a broken heart?
Below is another of his wacky videos as he tried to balance his wonderful and complex music with groove and humour. This is an excerpt from the first side of his album On The Way To The Peak Of Normal, released in 1981, the original version of Ode To Perfume was a too short 18 minutes. I urge everyone to investigate his history and shed a tear for him, a unique individual, the likes of which we shall probably never hear of again.
Rest in peace Holger and thank you for inspiring me and making my life so much better simply because you existed. You were talent, humility and ideas; an intellectual that opened the door wide to everyone. Condolences to friends and family – a sad day for creativity.
Ode To Perfume – think about it.