HomeMusicLongtime Pulp Bassist Steve Mackey Dead at 56

Longtime Pulp Bassist Steve Mackey Dead at 56

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Longtime Pulp bassist Steve Mackey died Thursday (March 2) at the age of 56. The news was revealed on social media by the musician’s wife Katie, who shared that the musician passed after a three month hospital stay. A cause of death was not revealed.

Mackey’s wife shared, “After three months in hospital, fighting with all his strength and determination, we are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye 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. Steve was the most talented man I knew, 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.” The family has asked for privacy at this time as they mourn the musician’s death.

The band also shared a message commenting on the death of Mackey. In it, they shared one of their favorite photos of the musician.

“Our beloved friend & bass player Steve Mackey passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family & loved ones,” stated the group, then adding, “This photo of Steve dates back 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 a hotel room wall all day (which is probably what we’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 was born on Nov. 10, 1966, eventually joining the band Trolley Dog Shag before finding his way to Pulp in 1989. The band had already released two albums prior to Mackey’s arrival, but he was with the group through their most prolific period, appearing on five studio albums including the breakout His ‘n’ Hers in 1994, 1995’s Different Class and arguably their biggest record, 1998’s This Is Hardcore.

The alt-rock band split in 2002, but Mackey returned in 2011 for a reunion. The band recently announced plans to reunite again, but Mackey bowed out of participating in the most recent plans. Mackey remained close with singer Jarvis Cocker after the group’s initial split, playing on his early solo records and touring with the musician.

After Pulp’s initial split, Mackey teamed up with Ross Orton of Add N to (X) to form the production and songwriting duo Cavemen. Over the course of their work together, they co-wrote and co-produced songs for M.I.A.’s first two albums and later added the track “Bird Flu” for her Kala album. Mackey’s credits also include work for The Long Blondes, Florence + the Machine and producing Arcade Fire’s 2017 album Everything Now.

Revisit some of Mackey’s work with Pulp below and see several tributes from peers.

Pulp, “Common People”

Pulp, “Disco 2000”

Pulp, “This Is Hardcore”

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