Space rock pioneers Hawkwind have lost their former longtime guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton. The influential axe-man passed away on Thursday (December 6th) at the age of 61 after a two-year fight against cancer.
Langton lent his talents to Hawkwind's 1970 self-titled debut album, which is widely revered as an essential piece of rock history. The album is considered as one of the first, if not the very first 'space rock' release, which paved the way for acts such as Kyuss, Muse and the Flaming Lips.
Langton left Hawkwind, which would later feature Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister as a member, shortly after the debut album dropped. However, Langton reunited with the band in 1979, remaining with Hawkwind until 1988. After his second exit from the group, Langton would make occasional guest appearances with Hawkwind, even rejoining the band again for a brief period of time from 2001-2002.
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Hawkwind released a statement after learning that Langton has passed away from cancer:
"It is with immense sadness that we have to let you know our great friend of many years and fellow musician Huw Lloyd Langton passed away peacefully last night. Huw had been bravely fighting cancer for a couple of years, but was determined not to let the battle affect his day to day life. He continued to play his guitar, laugh, joke and share the great love he had in his heart, with all who knew him.
"As he wished, he was at home when the time came, with his ever strong and loving wife Marion at his side. Huw was one of the great guitarists with an individual style and character. He is gone but never forgotten by any of us. He will live on in our music and in our hearts. We will update you all with details of funeral and remembrance plans as and when we have them.
Hawkwind also lost former bassist John Harrison this year. John died on May 26th after a seven-year battle with Huntington's disease.
The band have today announced that Huw's funeral will take place in Dorset on Thursday and fans are welcome to attend as long as they let the band know in advance.
The band say: "Huw's funeral will take place at 12 noon on Thursday, December 20 at St Mary's Church, Church Hill, Stalbridge, Sturminster Newton DT10 2LR.
"All are welcome – however, if you intend to be there, please email us at email@example.com as soon as possible, so we can have an idea of the numbers and can arrange a suitable venue for the reception."
Meanwhile, Langton's label Cleopatra Records say they'll continue with plans to release a box-set collection, due out in January.
They report: "Huw's Rare And Unreleased Anthology will now be an amazing posthumous tribute to his work, including never-before-heard solo acoustic recordings of song later recorded by Hawkwind, along with tracks from Huw's solo band.
"So long, Huw. May your journey from space-rock originator into an explorer of the great unknown be as interesting for you as your time on Earth was for us."
Founding Hawkwind bandmate Nik Turner adds: "He was a lovely guy and a great, great guitarist. I'm really sad that he's gone. Everybody who knew Huw liked him – he touched a great many people with his playing. I will miss him."