My good friend John McKenzie, who has died aged 65 of most cancers, was a consummate bass participant who recorded and toured with acts reminiscent of Lionel Richie, Bob Dylan, Dr John, Eurythmics, Alison Moyet, Morrissey-Mullen and the Pretenders. Supremely versatile, he was equally at dwelling in soul, funk, jazz, blues, rock, pop and even classical music.
John was born in Paddington, London, to Liz (nee Emslie), an actor and singer from Newcastle who appeared as Mrs Brumby within the movie Get Carter, and her Guyanese husband, Mike McKenzie, a keyboard participant who had a protracted and standard residency on the Savoy lodge in London.
John went to Haberdasher’s Aske’s boys faculty in Elstree, Hertfordshire. Self-taught on the bass guitar, though he additionally had assist from his father, he turned knowledgeable musician as quickly as he left faculty within the early 70s, becoming a member of a band known as the International Village Trucking Firm, which specialised in enjoying free festivals and whose members lived on a commune in Norfolk.
I first met him round 1975, when he was recruited into the Welsh band Man by my good friend the keyboardist Phil Ryan. He performed on their 11th album The Welsh Connection, for which he wrote one tune, earlier than the band cut up in late 1976.
His bass-playing in Man introduced him to wider consideration, and within the late 70s he was engaged as a session musician with Steve Hillage, main on to studio work on albums and singles with many various artists through the 80s and 90s. He performed on three Eurythmics singles, Thorn in My Aspect, When Tomorrow Comes and The Miracle of Love, on the Pretenders’ single Maintain a Candle to This, and on Moyet’s It Received’t Be Lengthy. He additionally had a stint with Dexy’s Midnight Runners, carried out stay with Seal, and performed on Roots Manuva’s tune The Falling in 2005.
On tour he performed in backing bands for Richie, Shakira, David Bowie, Tina Turner, All the things However the Lady and Davy Spillane, amongst others, and in 2013 he travelled the world with the classical crossover pianist Maksim Mrvica.
For a few years he was the bass participant of selection for no matter musical undertaking I used to be concerned in, and he additionally produced the primary report, Ardours of the Misplaced Rake (1991), that Phil and I recorded. He then toured with the Interoceters, a band we shaped in 1993, and latterly performed with the final of our bands, Psoulchedelia, together with on our 2014 album Perils of Knowledge.
Good-looking and charming, John had an ideal sense of humour and was at all times cheerful on the highway, whether or not flying first-class or sitting behind a van.
He was knowledgeable musician for all of his grownup life, although he was additionally an adept report producer and songwriter. He labored proper to the top, till sickness made that unimaginable.
John was married twice, first to Camilla Kronqvist, with whom he had a daughter, Daniella, and, after their divorce, to Eleanor Malcolm, with whom he had a son, Kyle.
He’s survived by Eleanor, Daniella and Kyle, and his sister Avril.