6-9-09 Hugh Hopper, R.I.P.
1984 CUNIEFORM US RUNE 104 CD
1973 7 TRKS (1 x bonus track)
1984 CBS UK 65466 LP
1973 6 TRKS
HOOLIGAN ROMANTICS FOT
1993 14 TRKS
HOPPER TUNITY BOX CULTURE PR 301284.2 CD
1977 9 TRKS (1 x bonus track)
HOPPER TUNITY BOX COMPENDIUM FIDARDO 7 LP
1977 8 TRKS
HUGH HOPPER AND ODD FRIENDS VOICEPRINT
1993 6 TRK CD EP CD5
MECCANO PELORUS CUNIEFORM
1991 6 TRKS Live '87 - '89
MONSTER BAND CULTURE PR 301278.2 CD
1979 9 TRKS
MONSTER BAND ATMOSPHERE IRI 5003 LP
1979 9 TRKS
NUMERO D'VOL MOONJUNE
2007 11 TRKS Charles Hayward etc.
TWO RAINBOWS DAILY CUNIEFORM
1980 12 TRKS (5 x bonus tracks)
TWO RAINBOWS DAILY RED
1980 7 TRKS with Alan Gowen of Gilgamesh;
I read yesterday that Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper passed away. I have to say, I have always loved his “Hoppertunity Box” LP, ever since the day I first got it as a new release. Also very fond of both “1984”, his debut solo and “Hoppertunity Box”-follow-up “Monster Band”. There was also at least one truly wonderful cut to be found on the “Hugh Hopper and Odd Friends” CD EP. Please try to hear “Lily Kong” and “12-8 Theme” (the studio versions), two songs that run together on “Monster Band” – stuff like that changed my life. And anybody who knows me well knows I’m not kidding. Once you get music like that under your skin – ‘frivolous pop music’ it ain’t.
The fuzz bass on Soft Machine “Vol. 2” is absolutely unforgettable. Once you heard it, there were no other British bass players that mattered, apart from Hopper. It really didn’t / doesn’t sound like anything else. Mr. Hopper may have ‘replaced’ Kevin Ayers in Soft Machine (both bassists), but Hopper was always his own guy. He’s not the first Soft Machine member to pass away – that would be Elton Dean, their sax player. And Hopper’s collaborator (from Gilgamesh) Alan Gowen also passed away…
I can’t stand it when someone who made music that really intrigues me passes away. I never got to talk to Mr. Hopper, and I would’ve liked to. Young Bob says friends of his got to play with Hopper; I’d love to hear that story.
So, for my 50th birthday, I made a room full of my best friends listen to “Gnat Prong” (among loads of other stuff) from “Hoppertunity Box”. Another one for my eternal iPod, my friends. I imagine the British music magazines will absolutely gush over Hopper…or not. Even rags like The Wire will, however, mention his passing. Hugh Hopper mattered. And may he rest in peace and have a great jam with Alan Gowen.
R.I.P., Hugh Hopper