Gordon Haskell, former King Crimson bassist and singer, dies at 74

Haskell recorded bass and vocals on the band’s acclaimed Lizard.

Gordon Haskell onstage

Photo: James Emmett / Redferns

Singer-songwriter Gordon Haskell, known for his work with King Crimson and The Fleur De Lys, has died at the age of 74. His death was confirmed in a statement made to his official Facebook page on 19 October.

“It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Gordon,” the statement read. “A great musician and a wonderful person who will be sadly missed by so many.”

The cause for Haskell’s death was not made known.

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Gordon, a great musician and a wonderful person who will be sadly missed by so many.

Posted by Gordon Haskell on Sunday, October 18, 2020

Haskell is well-known for his association with seminal prog-rock troupe King Crimson, where he replaced original bassist and vocalist Greg Lake in 1970. He recorded on Cadence And Cascade, the third track on the band’s 1970 LP In The Wake of Poseidon, as well as throughout 1971’s Lizard.

Haskell’s relationship with King Crimson mastermind Robert Fripp dates back to their school days, where they performed in the teen band the League Of Gentlemen. Although his departure from King Crimson was acrimoniously – according to the band biography In The Court Of King Crimson, he objected to the band’s use of effects on his vocal work – the band has acknowledged the late musician’s contributions in a tribute post made on Facebook.

“[Haskell’s] time in KC wasn’t a particularly happy part of his long career but his work on In The Wake Of Poseidon and in particular, Lizard is much admired in the Crimson community,” they wrote.

Gordon Haskell's Facebook page is reporting that Gordon has died. His time in KC wasn't a particularly happy part of his…

Posted by King Crimson on Sunday, October 18, 2020

Following his departure from King Crimson, Haskell gravitated away from progressive rock and towards R&B, where he enjoyed a successful solo career. He released 13 solo albums, the latest of which, The Cat Who’s Got The Cream, came out this January.

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