Brit pop sensations Pulp has lost one of its own.
Earlier on Thursday, the band announced the passing of bass player Steve Mackey. Mackey was 56 years old.
Mackey had been a member of Pulp since the late 1980s, joining the band when they were a few years shy of releasing some of their cult-favorite hits. Forming in the late seventies, Pulp would reach new heights in the mid-1990s after releasing their first two albums with a major label. 1995’s “Different Class” brought one of Pulp’s most memorable cuts, “Common People.”
The band would commemorate Mackey’s passing with an Instagram post. The music world also offered its condolences on social media, with countless tribute tweets as well.
Pulp Marks The Passing Of Bassist Steve Mackey On Instagram
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Pulp shared a scenic photo of Mackey to their social media accounts on Thursday, showcasing Mackey taking a walk in the Andes mountains during a tour stop.
“Our beloved bass player & friend Steve Mackey passed away this morning,” the band began in their announcement. “Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
Sharing some insight into the photo’s backstory, the band continues, “This photo of Steve dates from when Pulp was on tour in South America in 2012. We had a day off and Steve suggested we go climbing in the Andes. So we did. & it was a completely magical experience. Far more magical than staring at the hotel room wall all day (which is probably what we’d done otherwise). Steve made things happen in his life & in the band. & we’d very much like to think that he’s back in those mountains now, on the next stage of his adventure. Safe travels, Steve. We hope to catch up with you one day,” the band concluded.
Mackey’s passing was met with many condolences in the comment section of Pulp’s Instagram post.
“Absolutely heartbroken,” one fan wrote. “Steve was the reason I began playing Bass and was my favorite member of Pulp. Rest easy Steve, Thankyou for everything,” they concluded with a heart emoji.
“So sorry for your loss,” another fan wrote. “Glad to have seen him perform with you guys, one of the best days of my life.”
“Happy to have made him (along with Pulp) a part of my life. He’ll live long in minds and hearts. Sorry for your loss,” another admirer commented.
“This is a sad day for the Pulp family,” a supporter commented. “Still can’t believe he’s gone. Rest in peace dear Steve, and thank you for everything. Your chilean fans will never forget you.”
Mackey’s Wife Revealed He Had Been Struggling With Illness
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The exact cause of Mackey’s death is unknown, but his wife did reveal he had been hospitalized and struggling with an illness for months. According to Pitchfork, he had been in the hospital for three months.
In her tribute to Mackey, his wife, Katie, wrote, “Steve was the most talented man I’ve ever known, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker. As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words. The family has asked for privacy at this time,” her statement concludes.
Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch tweeted, “I’m so sorry for Steve Mackey’s family and for the Pulp family. Belle and Sebastian sends our best wishes, prayers, and condolences. A vital part of a vital band. [heart emoji]”
Massive Attack paid tribute with a tweet quoting lyrics from Pulp’s “Sorted For E’s & Wizz.”
Record label Rough Trade tweeted, “We are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Steve Mackey, legendary bassist of Pulp and established producer in his own right. A camaraderie that translated into their brilliant music. Our thoughts are with the band, his family and friends.”
The BBC’s Lauren Laverne tweeted, “So very sad to hear this news. All our love and thoughts are with his loved ones and bandmates,” and went on to reveal the outlet would be devoting coverage to Pulp and Mackey in the coming days.
“I’ve seen Pulp on 48 occasions,” a fan detailed in their tribute tweet. “and the majority of those were spent looking enviously at Steve Mackey’s impeccable style from the right hand side. A ba**ard loss.”
Mackey was also known for his production credits for MIA, Arcade Fire, Florence and the Machine, and The Killers. He had opted not to partake in Pulp’s reunion shows scheduled for this year, making the decision to devote his time to his off-stage projects. (via Pitchfork)