Andy Rawll
17th April 2017

allan holdsworth

The devastating news on Easter Sunday of the unexpected death, at 70 years of age, of pioneering, virtuoso guitarist Allan Holdsworth, was confirmed by this update on his daughter's Facebook page:

"It is with heavy hearts that we notify everyone of the passing of our beloved father. We would appreciate privacy and time while we grieve the loss of our dad, grandad, friend and musical genius. We will update close friends and family when service arrangements have been made and will notify the public of an open memorial service, which all would be welcome. We are undeniably still in shock with his unexpected death and cannot begin to put into words the overwhelming sadness we are experiencing. He is missed tremendously. Louise, Sam, Emily & Rori."

Allan was a zen-like master of his instrument, composition and improvisation with a deceptively languid, but impossibly precise style that awed and influenced multiple generations. His profile rose through his intense and intricate contributions to Gong and Soft Machine and gained mainstream attention through his work with King Crimson alumni Bill Bruford on 'One Of A Kind' and John Wetton on prog supergroup UK's debut album, culminating in his universally acclaimed solo album 'Metal Fatigue' in 1985.

During the subsequent thirty years he cemented his reputation through continuous touring, collaborations and solo releases.

Holdsworth was held in the highest regard as much by the Metal and rock community as by his fellow jazz and fusion players, for example, he guested alongside Zakk Wylde on 'Day Of The Dead' on Derek Sherinian's 'Mythology' album, contributing an utterly spellbinding solo.

Many have taken to social media to express their sadness at his passing. In addition, here are some of the words of recognition during his lifetime.

Yngwie Malmsteen
"Allan Holdsworth also has a strong style. A long time ago, Jens took me to see him in a small club in New York. I had to take my hat off to him."

Michael Romeo
"He is such an amazingly fluid guitarist"

Steve Morse
"His influence is just that he's such a drastic unyielding individual. You know, 'I'm going to do my thing and I'm going to do it the best I can."

Alex Lifeson
"Holdsworth took the qualities of other instruments and transferred them to the guitar in a way no one else did. He doesn't get anywhere near the recognition he deserves."

John Petrucci
"There's so many great guitar players. Al DiMeola, Allan Holdsworth, Mike Stern, John Scofield, so many great players..."

Carlos Santana
"He has something totally beautiful..."

Joe Satriani
"I tried to assimilate a lot of what he did on the guitar technically. I've taken from Allan Holdsworth, and tried to figure out, 'How can I use what this guy has done to further what I'm trying to say?'"

Steve Vai
"Allan Holdsworth is a master of playing this (legato) style."

Eddie Van Halen
"Holdsworth is the best in my book. He's fantastic. I love him."

Sadly, MetalTalk understands that this terrible news comes at a very bad time financially for the Holdsworth family and a Fundraising appeal has been created to assist them with funeral and memorial costs. You can contribute right here.

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