Monday, June 8, 2009

Hugh Hopper R.I.P.

So sad to hear the passing away of Hugh Hopper
Hugh became a legend as the bass player in Soft Machine with his innovative compositions and a unique signature fuzz-bass sound. making his mark on the history of progressive rock and forward-looking jazz-influenced psychedelic groups of the period and ever since.
I had the opportunity and privilege of meeting and working with Hugh when he played with Brainville 3 In Tel Aviv a few years ago and was struck by his down to earth and humble nature, his friendly manner and typical very English of humor.
Here is an improvisation Hugh played with Chris Cutler as the opening of the concert
This has all the magical ingredients that made Hugh such a unique bass player and improviser.

Hugh had one last request which stems from his faith in Buddhism; that request is to chant "Om Mani Padme Hum" for 49 days, visualizing him in the light of a rainbow.
Rest In peace dear Hugh


Skahëll said...

I had the bad sad news yesterday, if there is someone I am going to miss, it's Hugh Hopper, his kindness.

Since I saw him playing in the 60' with Soft Machine, I always admire his unique playing, clever, signing lines that you'll never forget. With him, I found out that there is another kind of technique than playing fast and demonstrative, find a simple line even in complex music, but bring it out as your own language, clear and solid.

I met him several times, and I always been impressed by his way to say things with humilitude.

It's a loss of a very great master to me, if not the greatest.
I'll think about him each time I'll play live, and send him a bass line.


frederick said...

I see lots of Posts right now re: Hugh's passing. I too will miss that guy a lot. I also see these photos of Hugh with his his black Peavey bass. when he was in portland and we first recorded with him, we took him to a music store so he could buy that bass instead of flying with his old early 60's jazz bass. Hugh was my bass hero since I was a teenager. I really loved that guy and I will deeply miss him. Those of us remaining in Hughscore will now get on making that fouth Hughscore record...sadly without Hugh
Fred Chalenor
Portland Oregon

frederick said...

One more thing, everybody should listen to the amazing duo Udi recorded and posted here on this page.
Those two guys really hit it on that one.
cheers Hugh & Chris

James said...

Although I never got to meet Hugh, I have listened to much of his music, including solo and his work with other groups. I first came across him with Soft Machine and have been fixated ever since, Now after two or three years, I have accumulated a lot of his less known work, including his work with Bone, Hughscore and even Hopper/Dean/Tippett/Gallivan. I still have much to get, including some Isotope.

He will be missed and it is a shame I never got to see him perform. I am sure he is playing somewhere with Pip Pyle, Elton Dean and Alan Gowen.

I shall play Soft Head's album soon in memory to four wonderful musicians.

James (from

Joee Conroy of Ut Gret said...

Hugh Hopper left us all too soon but his work will continue to inspire those of us who heard his unique body of work. Ut Gret played his classic "Facelift" and his writing has left it's mark on our own work. His work as a player and improviser has informed my approach as a bassist in particular, more than any other musician. I am grateful to have discovered his work and his legacy is now up to all of us.

joee of Ut Gret

dubh said...

Mr. Koomran and all--
Touching and warm tributes all, to a real innovator, and by ALL accounts a wonderful person. I will be honored to take part in his request to chant. It's very fitting to visualize him as a rainbow of light- his talent was truly full spectrum.

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