Pulp Bassist Steve Mackey Passes Away

3 March 2023 | 8:43 am | Mary Varvaris

"We hope to catch up with you one day..."

(Pulp via Facebook)

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Pulp bassist Steve Mackey has passed away, aged 56. 

Mackey joined the band in 1989 and recorded five albums with them before an eight-year hiatus and a production career, where he produced records for Florence + The Machine, M.I.A. and Arcade Fire and worked on remixes for Death From Above, Kelis, The Kills, and more. Mackey performed on the UK #1, four-times Platinum album Different Class, which featured the mega-hit Common People.

Pulp vocalist Jarvis Cocker revealed Mackey’s passing overnight.

In an Instagram post, Cocker wrote, “Our beloved friend & bass player Steve Mackey passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family & loved ones. 

“This photo of Steve dates from when Pulp were on tour in South America in 2012. We had a day off & Steve suggested we go climbing in the Andes. So we did. & it was a completely magical experience. Far more magical than staring at the hotel room wall all day (which is probably what I’d have done otherwise). 

“Steve made things happen. In his life & in the band. & we’d very much like to think that he’s back in those mountains now, on the next stage of his adventure. Safe travels, Steve. We hope to catch up with you one day. All our love xx”.

Mackey’s wife, Katie Grand, revealed that her husband had been in hospital for three months battling an undisclosed illness.

“After three months in hospital, fighting with all his strength and determination, we are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye to my brilliant, beautiful husband, Steve Mackey. Steve died today, a loss which has left myself, his son Marley, parents Kath and Paul, sister Michelle and many friends all heartbroken,” Grand wrote on social media.

She continued, “Steve was the most talented man I have ever known, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker. As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words.”

View tributes from Mackey’s peers in music, including members of Oasis, Portishead, Massive Attack, Radiohead and more below.

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