R.I.P. Kevin Ayers

on February 20, 2013, 9:57am

kevin ayers e1361372023972 R.I.P. Kevin Ayers

According to MOJO, Soft Machine frontman Kevin Ayers has died at the age of 68.

The English-born singer-songwriter was one of many pioneers from The Canterbury Scene, alongside fellow progressive rockers Robert Wyatt, Dave Stewart, Steve Hillage, and Peter Blegvad. In 1963, he joined forces with Wyatt and Hugh Hopper to form The Wilde Flowers, and in 1966 he and Wyatt formed jazz-fusion band Soft Machine.

It was with Soft Machine where Ayers found himself collaborating with future Police guitarist Andy Summer, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett, and Bob Dylan producers Chas Chandler and Tom Wilson. The band shared the same management team as Jimi Hendrix, and in 1968, they were invited to open for the celebrated rocker on his North American tour.

Ayers would later embark on a successful solo career, releasing over 15 albums and collaborating with Brian Eno, Mike Oldfield, and Lady June. His final record, 2007’s The Unfairground, featured contributions from Hopper, Bridget St John, and Phil Manzanera, as well as members of Neutral Milk Hotel, Teenage Fanclub, Ladybig Transistor, and more.

Below, you can watch footage of Soft Machine performing in 1967 and an interview with the musician from 2008.


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Katrin Moelke
February 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Awww :( Another cool musician gone too early

Tony Hardy
February 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Sad news indeed. I have a treasured vinyl copy of “Shooting at the Moon” and ‘May I’ is a simply divine song. A voice like ambrosia and I’m not talking creamed rice. Spot a very youthful Mike Oldfield on bass on that video along with the wonderful David Bedford and Lol Coxhill. True originals all. RIP Kevin.

February 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Really sad to hear this. Kevin Ayers was a true English eccentric with a voice as, well just listen to “May I”.


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