Allan Holdsworth Dies at 70

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April 16, 2017 at 10:28 pm Quote #56322


Allan Holdsworth, Progressive Guitar Virtuoso, Dies at 70


Pat Saperstein

VarietyApril 16, 2017

Allan Holdsworth, known as a guitarist’s guitarist for his progressive rock and jazz fusion work with bands including Soft Machine, Gong and U.K., died Sunday, according to a Facebook post from his daughter Louise. He was 70.
Born in Bradford, England, Holdsworth had lived in Southern California for several decades. His complex guitar work was cited as an influence by musicians including Eddie Van Halen and Robben Ford.

Holdsworth started out playing with rock and jazz fusion bands in the early ’70s and then joined up with acts from the Canterbury progressive scene including Soft Machine and Pierre Moerlen’s Gong. He played with bassist Stanley Clarke, King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford’s solo act, and with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty’s band, and was then recruited to join progressive supergroup U.K. with Bruford, violinist Eddie Jobson, and bassist John Wetton. But he objected to the organized structures of a major touring band and left the group after its first self-titled album in 1978.

From the 1980s onward, Holdsworth released a number of jazz fusion solo albums with collaborators including Gordon Beck and Mark Varney, and continued to tour. “Road Games,” from 1983, received a Grammy nomination for best rock instrumental performance.
An early proponent of the guitar synthesizer, he endorsed instruments for the SynthAxe company in the 1980s. Reverb magazine described Holdworth’s style as, “This was quantum jazz fusion with a Fripp-esque legato style and truly otherworldly tones.”

Musicians including Joe Satriani mourned Holdsworth on Twitter.

R.I.P. Allan Holdsworth. You remain an enormous inspiration to me. Your beautiful music will live on forever.
— Joe Satriani (@chickenfootjoe) April 16, 2017

When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?

April 17, 2017 at 5:43 am Quote #56325


Allan was an amazing guitar player.

RIP Allan

April 17, 2017 at 6:46 am Quote #56326


thats too bad. Great guitarist for sure

vhtrading member since 2000

April 17, 2017 at 8:37 am Quote #56327


Saw him one time as a jazz venue in San Jose, CA in 1994. Me and a buddy were kind of shocked to see that the first row right in front of him was empty – so we hustled on up there and got front row seats.

His skill level was about as elite as elite gets. To be perfectly honest, however, by the end of the show, I was kind of happy it was over. Even though it was one mind-blowing riff after another … it was all instrumental songs … and after a couple hours … I had had enough.

RIP Allan. You were truly one of the greatest ever.

April 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm Quote #56333


RIP Allan.

EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.


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