In Memoriam: John McKenzie

John McKenzie

Sad news to report: John McKenzie, who played with a wide range of artists, has passed away from undisclosed causes. He was 64 years old. Record producer John Reynolds shared the news on social media.

“Another beautiful soul gone. RIP John Michael Mckenzie,” he wrote. “It was always exciting playing with John – you never knew what would happened next. Genius bass player and truly great man. My thoughts are with his family.”

McKenzie’s music career began in 1970 as bassist for the Global Village Trucking Company, a band based in Suffolk. They were featured in a BBC documentary that highlighted the band, their communal living situation, and their distaste for record companies. The band broke up in 1975, but McKenzie pressed on to join the rock band, Man, the same year. He recorded on their album The Welsh Connection and toured the US to promote it. Man also called it quits, leading the bassist to play on records for Steve Hillage, Noel McCalla, and others.

It was in the 80s that McKenzie became a well-known session musician. Among loads of other albums, he recorded on several hits by Eurythmics, Bob Dylan’s Knocked Out Loaded, Wham!’s Fantastic, and two albums by The Pretenders. As a touring musician, he played for Lionel Richie, Shakira, David Bowie, Dr. John, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Iovine, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and more.

Watch McKenzie with Seal in this 2003 performance in Dublin:

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of John McKenzie.

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