To say that Phil Spalding was a larger-than-life character would mean to underestimate a lifeforce this highly esteemed British bassist used to embody for decades – until now. The veteran musician – whose powerfully melodic spank remains preserved for posterity on such different pieces as Mike Oldfield’s “Moonlight Shadow” and Robbie Williams’ “Supreme” as well as RIGHT SAID FRED’s “I’m Too Sexy” and “The Lion King” soundtrack – has suddenly passed away at the age of 65. It’s difficult to believe – given how cheery he’s always been. Barely a week has passed since Spalding was gushing about landing the lead song in the Italian film “Diversamente” – yet Phil is gone.
Busy with PSO – that’s PHIL SPALDING ORCHESTRA – in the last years, he set to revive what he played with Oldfield, and also write a memoir of his stint with Mike, but there was much more to his adventures in the business which allowed Spalding rub shoulders in the studio an on stage with THE WHO and Elton John, with Mick Jagger and Bernie Tormé, with Toyah – for whom he co-penned a few numbers, including “Dawn Chorus” – and Ray Charles, Steves Howe and Hackett in GTR – with whom he cowrote “Reach Out (Never Say No)” – and Roger Taylor, with Randy Crawford and Marcella Detroit, with Kylie Minogue and Geri Halliwell, and many, many others, because nobody could be as supportive, sonically and emotionally, as Phil. Not coincidentally, he, who was affected by hepatitis C, organized a patient support group and worked with charities that raise awareness of this health issue, yet all this activity didn’t make Spalding lose sight of what he loved the most: his family and his love for traveling, what with Phil stating he’d love to journey even if his work wasn’t related to touring.
An interview with Phil was planned for this site – something that’s never to happen. Rest in Peace, Mr. Spalding.