UPDATE: Cause of death revealed after Primal Scream’s Martin Duffy dies aged 55

UPDATE: Cause of death revealed after Primal Scream's Martin Duffy dies aged 55. Image: Bobby Gillespie/Instagram

MARTIN DUFFY, who had been the keyboardist with legendary Scottish rock band Primal Scream for over three decades, tragically died aged 55 and the cause of his death has now been revealed.

UPDATE 21.54 pm (December 20) – According to Bobby Gillespie, the legendary Scottish rock band’s lead singer and founding member, Primal Scream’s keyboardist Martin Duffy died on Sunday, December 18 after suffering a brain injury due to a fall at his home in Brighton, UK.

In a long tribute, Gillespie, 61, who formed Primal Scream in 1982, called Duffy “a very special character” who was the “most musically talented” of the band.

“Hard to write this. We never know how to speak around death other than polite platitudes. All I want to say is that our soul brother Martin Duffy passed away on Sunday. He suffered a brain injury due to a fall at his home in Brighton,” he said.

“We in Primal Scream are all so sad.”

He added: “I’ve known Martin since he was a teenager in Felt. He played keyboards on every album of ours from the first to the last. Finally joining the band in 1991. Martin was a very special character. He had a love and understanding of music on a deep spiritual level. Music meant everything to him. He loved literature and was well-read and erudite. An autodidact. A deep thinker, curious about the world and other cultures. Always visiting museums in every city we played or looking for Neolithic stones in remote places.

“Opinionated and stubborn in his views. He could play the piano to the level where he was feted not just by his peers in British music, but old school master American musicians such as James Luther Dickinson, Roger Hawkins & David Hood & producer Tom Dowd.

“I witnessed a session at Abbey Rd in 1997 for a Dr John album where his record company had assembled a bunch of young Indie Brit musicians where Mac Rebenac ( Dr John ) seemed bored and uninterested in the session until Martin started playing, then suddenly the good Dr started knocking some funky piano chops and I instantly knew it was because his ears had pricked up when he heard Martin play and the session, at last, came alive.”

He went on to add: “Martin was the most musically talented of all of us. His style combined elements of country, blues and soul, all of which he had a God-given natural feel for. He never played the same thing twice, ever. He was all about ‘the moment’, better have that ‘record’ button on when Duffy was on fire. His timing was unique, funky and ALWAYS behind the beat. George Clinton also dug Martin.

“I remember a session in Chicago where George said to him ‘go to church Duffy !’, and he did.

“Martin was also in possession of a unique wit. He had a swift eye for the absurd, the surreal and the ridiculous. He lived to laugh and play music. He was loved by all of us in the Scream. A beautiful soul. We will miss him.”


ORIGINAL 11.10 am (December 20) – Fans of a TOP Scottish rock band are in mourning today (Tuesday, December 20) after the death of one of its most popular band members.

Legendary Scottish rock band Primal Scream announced on December 20 that Martin Duffy, keyboardist with the band for over three decades, has died at the age of 55.

Martin Duffy joined Primal Scream in 1989 after first starting out in the indie rock band Felt.

He originally played keyboards on Primal Scream’s first two albums before joining the Scottish band on a permanent basis.

Following the death of founding member Rob Collins, Duffy also played with The Charlatans.

As part of The Charlatans, Duffy and the band supported Oasis at Knebworth in 1996.

Oasis’ Liam Gallagher wrote on Twitter: “RIP DUFFY PRIMAL SCREAM DYA KNOW WHAT I MEAN LG x”

The Charlatans singer Tim Burgess said: “Another tragic loss of a beautiful soul.

“Martin Duffy stepped in to save The Charlatans when we lost Rob – he played with us at Knebworth and was a true friend.

“He toured with me in my solo band too – he was a pleasure to spend time with. Safe travels Duffy.”

No cause of death has been announced.

Fans of Martin Duffy took to social media to pay tribute to the popular keyboardist following his unexpected death.

“Ugh…another huge loss – R.I.P. Martin Duffy. 😢🙏 So many great tunes with Primal Scream, The Charlatans, and Felt. 😢” one person wrote.

Another person wrote: “Oh Jesus, now #MartinDuffy. Had the pleasure of meeting him after the Saint Etienne show last November and was such a warm/friendly chap. There’s one Primal Scream track (imo) that immediately springs to mind. What a musician, what a loss.”

While another said: “Brilliant player, from Felt to Primal Scream, plus I recall that NME feature where he managed to get stabbed in NY without even noticing. RIP Duffy.”

Danny Kelly said: “RIP Martin Duffy. Felt’s Forever Breathes The Lonely Word is one of my very favourite albums, and Martin’s organ is the thing that gives it its celestial, timeless, placeless flavour. An incredible contribution to a lovely thing.”

“Speechless and heartbroken. RIP Duffy xxx,” James Endeacott wrote on Twitter.

The news comes after Terry Hall, the iconic frontman from legendary Two-Tone band The Specials passed away on Monday, December 19, at the age of 63.

More to follow…


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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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