The fact that it wasn’t a surprise doesn’t make it any less of a bitter announcement. Andonis Michaelides, better known as Mick Karn, passed away yesterday in his house in Chelsea, London, after complications caused by cancer. Karn himself gave the news about his diagnose –an unspecified form of cancer in an already advanced stage– last June, and at the same time asked for financial help to pay for his medical bills in the UK (Karn and his family had been living in Cyprus since 2004) and to aid his family in case he didn’t make it through. Unfortunately, the treatment wasn’t enough to stop a metastasis which yesterday afternoon ended Karn’s life.
Karn, a photographer and plastic artist, psychotherapist and multi-instrumentalist, will be most remembered for his role in Japan, the band he played in alongside David Sylvian, Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen and Rob Dean between 1974 and 1982. His way of playing the bass and his ability to play different brass and woodwind instruments –from saxophones to faggots and Indian instruments– greatly marked a band that, thanks to works like “Adolescent Sex” (1978), “Gentlemen Takes Polaroids” (1980) and “Tin Drum” (1981), rapidly became one of the most valued groups on a British scene trying to choose between post-punk, synth-pop and New Romantic. May he rest in peace.