Mr Holger Czukay. You will be missed.

czukay100So farewell, Holger Czukay, musical pioneer, humorist, inspiration, and a close personal deity of mine. We are going to miss his timeless artistry and zany humour, which made the madness of this world look really silly.

I had the enormous luck and privilege of interviewing Mr Czukay some years ago and then meeting him in person when he subsequently came to Japan.

They say don’t meet your heroes but I came away even more childishly in awe of this one.

Highlight: on hearing my accent, this German, born into the carnage of the second world war, told me that back in the day he used to travel internationally in the uniform of a British naval officer. Because, he explained, no one messes with the British navy.

I learned tonight that Mr Czukay’s wife Ursula died in July this year and was reminded that his partner and collaborator in rhythm, drummer Jaki Liebezeit, died in January.

Can’t sign off without leaving you with one of his songs.

Ode to Perfume (From the album On the Way to the Peak of Normal — one of the best album titles ever.)

OK. Two of his songs. Here’s Paperhouse from CAN’s Tago Mago, one of my favourite albums in the history of the universe.

OK. Three of his compositions. Something completely different, the hauntingly ethereal and beautiful Boat Woman Song from Canaxis, which, incredibly, he made in 1968, before CAN even got going.

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About chrispagefiction

Author of the novels Sanctioned, Weed, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree; also the story collection Un-Tall Tales; editor, freelance writer and all that stuff. At heart he is a London person, but the rest of his body is a long-term exile in Osaka, Japan.
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