English musician Matthew Seligman, who worked with David Bowie and other top names in the music industry as a bassist, died at London’s St. George’s University Hospital on Friday from complications due to COVID-19. He was 64.
Fellow musician Thomas Dolby confirmed Seligman’s passing via Facebook, where he explained his friend’s struggle with the virus as told to him by guitarist Kevin Armstrong.
“Friday: Matthew Seligman has suffered a catastrophic hemorrhagic stroke from which he won’t recover,” Dolby writes. “It is expected that he will not survive longer than 12/24 hours. His ventilator will be gradually withdrawn until the inevitable end. I am so sad to have to bear this terrible news. I have loved him as a friend and a fellow musician for 40 years.”
The post explained that Seligman had been on “a ventilator in an induced coma for two weeks.”
Seligman found fame during the new wave scene in 1980’s London, and was behind some of the era’s biggest hits including “Video Killed the Radio Star,” “In The Name of Love,” and “She Blinded Me With Science” while part of a variety of musical groups including Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club (alongside Dolby), the Thompson Twins, and later Dolby’s solo group.
In 1985, he and Dolby backed Bowie during his historic Live Aid performance. Bowie used Seligman again a year later on the soundtrack for the film Labrynth and on his song “Absolute Beginners.”
The father-of-two kept busy between gigs as a session musician for top musical talent, like Morrissey, Tori Amos, Stereo MC’s, and Sinead O’Connor.
Seligman’s former bandmate Robyn Hitchcock from their short time as The Soft Boys, who he says he’ll always remember for “some of the finest bass playing I have ever witnessed.”
“I’m writing this as Matthew Seligman slips out of this life and into wherever souls go next. Everybody goes, but none of us were expecting Matthew to leave us so abruptly, forever. It is strange and very sad to be talking of him in the past tense,” he shared on Facebook. “
He adds, “I’m profoundly grateful to have played music with him – you could really see his face light up like a full moon when he listened back to a take he enjoyed. Onstage he would lope and lurch and pace when the music moved him. Matthew is, was, and always will be one of the greats. My heart goes out to his partner, Mami; his children Daisy and Lily, and all who were close to him and his lunar intensity.”
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