In Memoriam: Roger Newell

Roger Newell

We have sad news to report today as Roger Newell has passed away following an aortic aneurysm. He was 73 years old. Newell was best known for his work with Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who shared memories of the bassist on his website.

“Roger was such an important founder member of the English Rock Ensemble and his love and understanding of prog rock and orchestral/symphonic rock, was second to none,” he wrote. “He was enthusiastic, dedicated and a great guy to be around. He was just as happy when we all were playing in the (now defunct) Valiant Trooper in Holmer Green on a Sunday to raise money for charity as he was walking on stage at Madison Square Garden to perform Journey to the Centre of the Earth… Roger always deserved more recognition as a bass player and his incredibly musical input in both notation and sounds on No Earthly Connection is a lasting tribute to his talent.”

Wakeman also shared that the triple neck guitar that Chris Squire played was actually made by Wal Guitars for Newell’s work on the King Arthur concerts at Wembley.

Newell was also a member of the psychedelic pop group Rainbow Ffolly, releasing their debut Sallies Fforth in 1968. After his time with Wakeman, Newell backed up Marty Wilde with the Wildcats. He was also the deputy editor for the UK’s Bassist magazine in the 1990s and a contributor to Guitarist up until recently.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Roger Newell.

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