Paul Buckmaster, Rest In Peace

Paul BuckmasterPaul Buckmaster died yesterday, aged 71. 

Classically trained musician, talented conductor and remarkable cello player, his arrangements and orchestrations have become the very fiber of popular music. Without Paul, Elton John’s essential albums – including pieces such as “Your Song” – would have been less impressive; without Buckmaster, David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” wouldn’t have been as wonderfully weird; without him, Harry Nilsson’s take on “Without You” couldn’t have soared.

Paul’s presence graced such diverse records as Mick Farren’s underground gem "Mona" and Miles Davis’ “On The Corner,” as well as Leonard Cohen’s “Songs Of Love And Hate,” THE GRATEFUL DEAD’s “Terrapin Station” and THE ROLLING STONES’ “Sticky Fingers” where Buckmaster’s strings elevated “Moonlight Mile”… He wasn’t stranger to avant-garde, either, and he loved that – always warmly remembering SPHINCTER ENSEMBLE’s experiments, which speaks volumes of Paul’s sense of humor.

Beth Hart and HEART, BON JOVI and Taylor Swift, DEEP PURPLE and GUNS N’ ROSES: all of them, and many more, were touched by his magic. Paul loved them all – and he was very approachable.

Words fail me now. We had a few short conversations and planned an interview one day… which, sadly, will not happen. Rest in peace, Maestro.

November 8, 2017

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