Japan star Mick Karn has lost his battle with cancer at his home in London. The bass player was 52. Karn, real name Andonis Michaelides, announced he had been diagnosed with the disease at the beginning of June 2010, telling fans on his website that the security and well-being of his wife and young son are now his top priority.
A statement posted on his website on Tuesday, January 4 confirmed Karn "was surrounded by his family and friends" at the time of his death. Born in Cyprus, Karn was a big part of the U.K.'s new wave movement in the early 1980s. As well as becoming a member of "Quiet Life" hitmakers Japan, he also worked with Gary Numan and Kate Bush and founded Dalis Car in the mid-1980s with Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy.
He moved back to London from his native Cyprus last year following the diagnosis he was terminally ill and fans launched several appeals via his website Mickkarn.net to help cover medical costs and offer financial support to his family. Live Aid hero and Ultravox star Midge Ure was in the throes of hosting a charity concert in support of Karn when the bassist died.
Ure told the BBC last year, "When it comes to a situation like Mick's - who is in dire straits - he needs help, financial help and emotional help. I have had a lot of contact from people I haven't spoken to in a long time; we are looking at availabilities for various venues. It's a long, slow process, so we need to nail the venue and date."
"You are going to have most of Japan there doing stuff, certainly Steve (Jansen) and Richard (Barbieri) will be there, and people that Mick has worked with over the years. He has huge respect. He is one of the good guys; that's what's shocking to everybody. I think the interest in this will be huge."
"I think Mick's influenced everybody. Until I heard Japan, I had never heard a bass guitar played like that; it was almost like playing a lead instrument, incredibly percussive and melodic, something that inspired me." In a statement released on Tuesday, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor called Karn, "one of the great visual and sound stylists of the late 70s/early 80s".