In Memoriam: Bassist Mick Karn Dead at 52

Categories: r.i.p.
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Mick Karn, longtime bassist for Japan and then Dalis Car, has lost his battle with cancer. Karn was born Andonis Michaelides to Greek Cypriot parents in Nicosia, Cyprus. His family moved to London, England, when he was a young boy. He met the other members of what would become Japan as a teenager in the mid-1970s. Japan became enormously influential in the post-punk and New Romantic scenes of the late-'70s and early-'80s. The group, including Karn on bass and (occasionally) saxophone, incorporated synthesizers, glam-rock theatricality and avant-garde influences to inspire multiple generations of artists.

Japan broke up soon after breaking through to the mainstream with final album Tin Drum and its single "Ghosts." After this, Karn teamed up with former Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy to form Dalis Car, who influenced many Goth and alternative artists. Karn continued to experiment, working with British, American and Asian artists throughout the '80s, '90s and '00s. Eventually, he married and settled down to raise a family in his native Cyprus. He returned to England for treatment for cancer, but the chemotherapy was not enough.

Karn is already being mourned and celebrated by fans and friends alike. Former Japan bandmate David Sylvian summed up his feelings via his Facebook update: "He is survived by his wife, Kyoko, and son, Metis. May his suffering be at an end; may he find eternal peace."


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