Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Bert Jansch dies aged 67

Bert Jansch died this morning (October 5) after losing his battle with cancer. He was 67.

The legendary Scottish folk musician had been suffering with the disease over the past couple of years and passed away at a hospice in Hampstead, North London, his family confirmed to BBC News.

Jansch cancelled a scheduled gig in Edinburgh in August, with a statement on his official website saying he was "unwell" and set to spend "at least" one week in hospital. 

A founding member of '60s/'70s folk rock band Pentangle – who reformed in 2008 - Jansch made his live comeback last year after battling back from cancer, playing a co-headlining US tour with Neil Young. He also played at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival last year.

A virtuoso acoustic guitar player, the 67-year-old is widely considered to have influenced the likes of Jimmy Page, Johnny Marr, Graham Coxon and Pete Doherty, with whom he has collaborated live. Jansch also appeared on Babyshambles' 2007 album 'Shotter's Nation', playing guitar on closing track 'The Lost Art Of Murder'.

Meanwhile, Coxon once told Uncut: "I'm not as good as him, but I'm a huge fan of Bert Jansch."
Everything Everything have taken to their Twitter account to pay tribute to Jansch, writing: "RIP Bert Jansch. Your work was frequently gorgeous."

Graham Coxon, who was a noted fan of Jansch, has also tweeted his respects. He wrote on his Twitter account "R.I.P dear Bert" and "A sad day", before telling of an encounter he had with the guitarist during a show in Oxford. 

Hurts frontman Theo Hutchcraft also offered his condolences on his Twitter account and quoted Jansch's lyrics from his track 'Needle Of Death'. He wrote: "RIP Bert Jansch. 'When sadness fills your heart, and sorrow hides the longing to be free, you fix your mind to escape your misery.'"

Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith paid tribute to Jansch too. He wrote on Twitter account "I saw Bert Jansch solo and with Pentangle. I still can't fathom how someone can play acoustic guitar that well and with so much feeling."

The BBC's business editor Robert Peston also joined the tributes, writing: "I saw Bert Jansch live twice. Bloody genius." 

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