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Mark Smith dies

14:29 | Tuesday November 3, 2009

One of the UK’s best bass players and member of leading jazz funk band Kokomo Mark Smith has died suddenly.

Smith, who has played with anyone who is anyone in the world of music, including The Waterboys, Roxy Music and Patricia Kass, was found at his Battersea home last night.

He had been due to play a show at the 606 Club, but when he failed to show his bandmates, including Jeremy Stacey, went to his house and discovered him.

Producer Robin Millar, who met Smith in 1990, and worked with the bassist and keyboard player on several Kass recordings says he was one of the “true unsung heroes”. Millar adds, “Mark was one of the great people and players. He was one of those guys who never pushed himself forward, but was a great all round musician – a real musicians’ musician.”

Millar expects that his colleagues will organise a memorial for Smith shortly.

Readers' comments

  • Leo Green 3 November, 2009

    Mark was head and shoulders above so many of us, in so many, important ways. I started doing gigs with Mark nearly 20 years ago, and aside from being an inspirational and completely faultless musician, he was one of the most genuine and generous people I have ever met. The ultimate unsung musical hero and a warm, funny, sweet man. Sincere thoughts to his family. Leo Green

  • harvey harris 3 November, 2009

    i wish i had known him longer. an educated humble man with outstanding talent. you wont find anyone who knew mark who would not feel a huge loss today. im not sure how i will be at the next leo green gig. so bloody unfair. harvey..

  • Ian Silvester 3 November, 2009

    Yet another tragic loss to the music industry truly Mark was one the industry's finest, a warm, honest and talented musician, his unique ability to seamlessly blend in with others will be sorely missed. I consider it an honor to have known and worked with and for him. Ian Silvester (Zippy)

  • nick richards 3 November, 2009

    mark was with my band boys don't cry for many years. he was best man at my wedding and godfather to my son marlo. a true friend,who never ever let me down. we wrote some great songs together and i will make sure his memory and talent lives on forever. loved and trusted by all my family.

  • Trevor Barry 3 November, 2009

    I really can't believe this news. Mark was a great musician, amazing Bass player and lovely man. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP Mark

  • Trevor Barry 3 November, 2009

    I really can't believe this news. Mark was a great musician, amazing Bass player and lovely man. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP Mark

  • Deborah Richards 3 November, 2009

    Mark was one of my dearest friends and my family and I loved him deeply , we always will . He was God Father to our youngest son and the most treasured friend . He will NEVER be forgotten by us he will live on in our hearts . He was the most decent person I have ever had the honour of meeting . Words cannot express the enormity of this loss , may he live on through his music which as anyone who knew Mark was his life . What a musician , what a friend what a legend xx

  • Nick Tesco 3 November, 2009

    Mark was one of my dearest friends. For several years we wrote and produced together and he was close to my family. His death is a huge loss to music. He was always quiet and self-effacing, never the ego driven horrorshow, when he had every right to be so given his wonderful talent. His approach to recording and arrangement made everything seem so effortless and he was never less than excellent. Every project he worked on he improved. he was one of that rare breed of people who could indeed polish a turd. He was one of the good guys.

  • David Knopfler 4 November, 2009

    Sad news indeed. Mark was a terrific all rounder on the record we worked on together - and a very likable and nice chap too.

  • Roy Martin 4 November, 2009

    Unbelievably sad news. Mark was one of the brightest, nicest, most self effacing yet excellent people anyone could meet. A brilliant musician and a brilliant guy.He will be missed by SO many people as I never heard a bad word about him. Spent many, many hours playing with him and hanging with him on tour. He once said to me if he had a coffee, a ciggie and an internet connection then he's happy . Top man.....Its not fair that he's gone...

  • Stan 4 November, 2009

    Very shocking and sad news about Mark. He turned me onto the electronic cigs. RIP

  • fabienne delecluyse 4 November, 2009

    I'm from Belgium and saw Mark play often with The Waterboys! A great bass player for that great band! I'll never forget Mrk, I also met him a few times personally( very short!!!) and was amazed by his kindness. VERY sad he had to go so young! May he rest in peace. Fabienne Delecluyse. Belgium.

  • Michelle John 4 November, 2009

    Sad news !! A great musician , worked with Mark on numerous tours with Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music ..... a genuinely lovely man !!

  • Mike Patto 5 November, 2009

    Mark was the true gentlemen. A hugely gifted, natural, sincere musician, Mark brought love, laughter and joy into everyones life. It was a privilege to know him and work with him.

  • Gregg Kofi Brown 5 November, 2009

    As a bass player back in the day our paths crossed several times and I always found Mark to be generous of spirit, always willing to exchange ideas and very supportive of other players. When I first decided to go solo as a performer I turned to Mark for help and he took time out of his busy schedule to program tracks for me. What a talent he was and very inspiring to work with. Thanks Mark. Gregg Kofi Brown MA (Osibisa)

  • tim cody 5 November, 2009

    Shocked and truly saddened to hear this news. Mark was an inspirational player and a talented producer and arranger. But more than this he always did music for the right reasons. I'll miss him terribly.

  • Leon Stennig 5 November, 2009

    Shocking news. It was my pleasure to work with Mark. A good mate and a great player. He'll be deeply missed by many people.

  • Chris Gardner 5 November, 2009

    My relationship with Mark goes back to the day he was born. we grew up together. My fathe grew up with his Father. And sometimes we worked together in bands, though we took different musical and career directions. He was one of the good ones without a doubt. Such a good musician, so modest, so professional, and such good company. He was Godfather to my son Sam, now studying drumming at Leeds College of Music. Maybe not the most diligent Godfather you could imagine, but he pulled out the stops on Sam's 18th birthday when he gave him one of the cymbals which had been used on Robbie Williams' "Angels".

  • Chris Gardner 5 November, 2009

    My relationship with Mark goes back to the day he was born. we grew up together. My fathe grew up with his Father. And sometimes we worked together in bands, though we took different musical and career directions. He was one of the good ones without a doubt. Such a good musician, so modest, so professional, and such good company. He was Godfather to my son Sam, now studying drumming at Leeds College of Music. Maybe not the most diligent Godfather you could imagine, but he pulled out the stops on Sam's 18th birthday when he gave him one of the cymbals which had been used on Robbie Williams' "Angels".

  • Spizz Energi 5 November, 2009

    Still sinking in. Nick Tesco says it all. It's easier to list who he hasn't worked with.

  • Vanessa Freeman 5 November, 2009

    Mark was a amazing man . Mike Patto & i had the pleasure of playing with him and loved who and what he was truly an amazing guy. Our Wishes are send to his Family at this time.

  • Emily Gardner 5 November, 2009

    Like my brother Chris, I grew up with Mark. His mother was my godmother. My abiding musical memories of him are of gigs in our home town, New Malden, with the group Pus, at venues like the Brycbox and the Fountain Pub. It is a tragic loss of a talented, lovely man. My heart goes out to his family.

  • Todd Glass 5 November, 2009

    I'm still shocked at this unbelievable news. I met Mark in 2006, we toured together with Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding. He was such a pro and had such a great sense of humour. My birthday happened while on that tour and Mark took me out to dinner in Denmark, we became friends and chatted via E-mail since that time. While in London on that tour (my first time) he took me all around town showing me the studios and cafe's where he hung out. He was a regular player at Ronnie Scott's so he took me there and we hung out chatting for awhile about music. I can't say enough about Mark, in this buisness it's rare to find such a kind and honest person. I will miss hearing from him. God Bless you Mark, and thanks for teaching me those Irish jokes!

  • Jin Goh 5 November, 2009

    Mark is going to be so missed. Always sincere, supportive, and a positive presence in company and in music. A rare gem of a human being that I feel most privileged and fortunate to have known. Thoughts and prayers to family and loved ones.

  • Robin Millar 5 November, 2009

    Well Mark you've really done it now. The man who least wanted the limelight has now walked into the full beams of the front stage lighting where you deserve to be. You were simply the best all round musician I ever encountered and the most realised human any of us knew. You have dropped us all in it now Mark, good and proper. Who are we supposed to turn to when our Protools packs up? who are we supposed to turn to when we want Motown feel without a time machine? Who are we supposed to turn to when we have such a personal dilemma that there seems no way out? If you manage to sort out the space-time continuum problem [should take you and afternoon] please send us all your contacts....we're stuffed without you mate. Fondest love. Rob xxx

  • James Little 5 November, 2009

    I knew Mark for well over 20 years, and worked with him on many different projects. He was an exceptionally gifted musician and producer, and he had a fabulously dry sense of humour. He was also one of the most modest people you could ever expect to meet. He will be very much missed by a great many of us who had the good fortune to know him.

  • deepi 6 November, 2009

    This is shocking news! I have known Mark for more than 10 years. He has been one of those rare dear friends who was always good to me and his support and encouragement was always unconditional. Mark is one of the most caring, talented, genuine, humble and amazingly good hearted people I have had the privilege of knowing and working with. I will miss him terribly!

  • Richard Taee 6 November, 2009

    What a huge loss. Mark never hit a wrong note. Wonderful memories from touring many years ago now with Mark and Boys Don't Cry.

  • Lysha Davis 6 November, 2009

    Mark was one of the kindest spirits I have had the fortune of calling a friend. I will never forget Marks undeniable talent, generosity and kindness. He was a wonderful human being, friend and an unbelievable musician. He will be hugely missed.” xxx

  • Michael Wells 6 November, 2009

    Mark was my oldest friend. We started school together at the age of five and have been friends ever since. I still can't believe he's gone. What a privilege to have known such a kind and humorous person. We won't forget you.

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3 November, 2009

 

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