By Chris King • 13 November 2022 • 1:43
Turkish police arrest man suspected of planting bomb that killed six in Istanbul
Nik Turner, the former saxophone and flute-playing musician with space rock legends Hawkwind has passed away at the age of 82. His death was confirmed at around 4pm GMT on his official Facebook page on Friday, November 11. No cause of death was given.
The post read: “We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Nik Turner – The Might Thunder Rider, who passed away peacefully at home on Thursday evening. He has moved onto the next phase of his Cosmic Journey, guided by the love of his family, friends and fans. Watch this space for his arrangements”.
Nik had two spells with the London-based band after originally joining them in 1969. He performed with them at the height of their success between 1969 and 1976, and then again from 1982 until 1984. Some of the songs on the band’s earlier albums were either written or co-written by him.
He was responsible for Hawkwind’s hallmark 1971 composition ‘Master of the Universe’ which featured on ‘In Search Of Space’. On their classic 1972 album ‘Doremi Fasol Latido’, Nik composed ‘Brainstorm’, the opening track.
Mainly because he owned a van that the band could get around in, Nik was recruited originally by Dave Brock and Mick Slattery as a road manager. They quickly realised what a great musician he was and invited him to join the band.
In 1970 Nik performed at the very first Glastonbury festival where he erected his own pyramid-shaped stage. This of course inspired the creation of what is now the famous main stage at the annual festival. Going full circle, in 1977, while on holiday, he recorded music in the Egyptian city of Giza, on the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid.
Interviewed by Classic Rock, he told them: “I got a taxi to the pyramid and climbed up it. All these old Arabs with old muskets were trying to stop me and get money, but I just sort of bypassed them, made my way to the top, sat down and played my flute”. This recording later became a part of Kin Turner’s Sphinx’s 1978 album ‘Xitintoday’.
Throughout his musical career, Nik collaborated with many top artists including Sting, The Stranglers, and Sham 69. The legendary Jimi Hendrix name-checked him during his iconic Isle of Wight performance in 1970. In 2016, at Lemmy’s funeral, he performed a solo sax eulogy.
Other projects involved Robert Calvert, his Hawkwind colleague, Michael Moorcock, the renowned science fiction author, and Barney Bubbles, the graphic design genius, as reported by loudersound.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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