In Memoriam: Timi Hansen

Timi Hansen

Photo by Chris Page

Sad news to report: Timi Hansen, who played bass with Mercyful Fate, has passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 61 years old. The news was shared by Mercyful Fate singer King Diamond on the band’s Facebook page.

“I just found out that I lost one of my dearest friends, who has been fighting cancer for a long time, in such an incredibly brave way,” he wrote. “He was not just my roommate on the early Mercyful Fate tours, but he was always my favorite bass player of all times. I was fortunate to have been able to visit him at his apartment with some other good friends, and we had a great afternoon that will never be forgotten. When I last talked to Timi on the phone on October 24th, I could understand that things had gotten tougher than they ever were, and yet he said, ‘We fight on.’ I feel so so sad for his entire family, you have my absolute deepest sympathy.”

Hansen was born in Denmark and joined Mercyful Fate in 1981 soon after its inception. He played on five of the group’s studio albums throughout several lineup changes, breakups, and reunions. After the first break in 1985, he formed the band King Diamond with the vocalist. He would record four albums with that group: No Presents for Christmas, Fatal Portrait, Abigail, and The Dark Sides. Both bands were hugely influential as part of the first wave of black metal.

Hansen was scheduled to take place in the upcoming Mercyful Fate reunion in 2020 but announced in August that he would not be able to take part. Armored Saint and Fates Warning bassist Joey Vera is stepping in to take his place.

“It’s my big dream to be on stage again playing the old Mercyful Fate numbers in front of all of you very loyal fans,” he wrote. “If this wasn’t going to happen, I’d like to ask you to take good care of Joey Vera. I totally agree with King that he is a perfect ‘stand-in,’ so take good care of him.”

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Timi Hansen.

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