In Memoriam
Progressive musicians who passed on in 2009

Eric Woolfson

Paul Kopecky

Hugh Hopper in 1977

Eric Woolfson (1945-2009)
Singer/songwriter Eric Woolfson, along with Alan Parsons, founded the popular and sometimes progressive band Alan Parsons Project. His vocals were heard on all APP albums up to and including Freudiana (not credited as APP, though most fans include it in the APP discography).

After splitting with Parsons, Woolfson went on to write several successful musicals, release an album of unreleased APP-era songs composed by him, and even sang guest vocals on a recent album by Rubber Universe.

Woolfson died of kidney cancer in the early hours of the December 2nd, 2009 at the age of 64. You can check out his web site here or read a nice obituary here. -- Fred Trafton

Paul Kopecky (1971-2009)
From the Kopecky web site:
We are deeply saddened to announce that our dear brother Paul James Kopecky passed away on June 22, 2009 due to complications related to juvenile diabetes. He was only 37 years old.

For the past two years Kopecky was unable to play because of Paul's deteriorating health. We hoped beyond hope to play together again, but unfortunately it was not to be.

Paul was an exceptional drummer whose unique style shaped and helped define the Kopecky sound. His drumming was powerful but precise, innovative but instinctive, and always, always tasteful. He played selflessly, crafting his parts to suit the song, not his ego. We were always suprised by his phenomenal talent, and we often marveled at how he could, with a minimum of practice, play extremely complicated tracks in just one or two takes in the recording studio. And in concert, Paul was always solid as bedrock and played his absolute best despite being frequently ill on stage. In many ways, he was the best of us.

The world of progressive rock has lost an amazing drummer. We have lost not only our blood brother but also a best friend. And this planet has lost one of the kindest, most warm-hearted souls that ever walked the earth.

Paul, we will miss you all our days. It was an honor and a pleasure to have played such beautiful music with you. Your talent and generous spirit inspire us to no end, and in the hearts of your family, friends, and fans, you will never die.

We love you, Paul.

Your brothers,
Joe and William

Hugh Hopper (1945-2009)
Bassist Hugh Hopper was one of the stalwarts of the Canterbury scene. Most famously, he was one of the founding members of Soft Machine, but also played in many other bands including Gilgamesh, Hughscore, Isotope, Soft Head and Soft Heap among many others.

Hopper died of leukemia on June 7th, 2009 at the age of 64, two days after marrying his partner Christine. His funeral was a Tibetan Buddhist ceremony held on June 25, 2009. You can read his New York Times obituary here. -- Fred Trafton

R.I.P. Bo Hansson
4/10/43 - 4/24/10

Bo Hansson
Swedish multi-keyboardist Bo Hansson died at age 67 on April 24th, 2010. Known as a bit of a hermit, he became famous for his album Sagan Om Ringen, released in the U.S. as Lord Of The Rings, a 1971 concept album inspired by Tolkien's saga. He created several other solo albums as well, and went on to form organ & drum duo Hansson & Karlsson, who were known to jam with Jimi Hendrix during his visits in Sweden. Hendrix also covered Hansson's "Tax Free".

In keeping with Hansson's enigmatic reputation, I can find no information as to the cause of death. But I am sad to hear of his passing. -- Fred Trafton

The Enid is alive and well!

The Enid mastermind
Robert John Godfrey
UK classical-prog band The Enid is alive and well and touring! In addition to concerts in their native UK in April, The Enid will be travelling "across the big pond" for a gig in the USA ... NEARFest 2010! And on top of that, a major new studio album is nearing completion.

And even better news for fans ... Robert John Godfrey has made the entire back catalog of The Enid available for free download from their web site. What's the catch? Well, only a slight one ... see their GEPR entry for details. If you're unfamiliar with this band (as I, sadly, was), now's your chance to fix that! -- Fred Trafton

Flash Returns!

Flash reunion leaders
Colin Carter and Ray Bennett
Just thought I'd give you a heads-up about 70's British progrockers Flash (see new web site).

The band has reformed with original members, Ray Bennett and Colin Carter, and is currently in rehearsals. Here's a video clip I was allowed to record from their very first session 12/16/09 ... very exciting for those of us who never got to see Flash live! I think you can tell, 'the boys' are having fun too ... -- Press release from Sherry Noland

Merry Christmas from Little Tragedies
New Album Magic Shop Free for the downloading!

A few months ago, I got a preview CDR from one of my favorite bands, Little Tragedies. Though I like their newer music, I liked their earlier albums even better, and this album sounded more like their earlier stuff. The album title was Magic Shop, and was all instrumental, though there was an insert included with a story to go with the music, in English. I've been waiting to review it until it was officially released.

Well, now it has been ... in a most unusual way. Click here to listen to or download this album in its entirety for free in a variety of formats ... MP3 for your iPod or WAV/FLAC formats for you to burn your own full-resolution CD, complete with downloadable album art. Really. No catches, no advertising, no DRM. Just a wonderful album for any prog fan. Merry Christmas from Little Tragedies! -- Fred Trafton

And another from Far Corner
New Album Intermission Free for the downloading!

Far Corner is also offering a full album free for the download. These are previously unreleased tracks both live and from the studio. The band says, "these new tracks serve as an intermission while we are completing our third studio album." Click here to download. If you click on the album cover picture on this page, it will take you to a high-resolution CD insert you can print out if you want.

Unlike the Little Tragedies offering, this one comes in MP3 files only. That's because Far Corner intends to offer a real, full-quality CD of it for sale sometime down the road. I for one will not complain. -- Fred Trafton

Transatlantic Reforms!
And they said it would never happen!

In 2002, when Neal Morse announced that he was quitting Spock's Beard in order to pursue a solo career in Christian music, he also mentioned that other projects he was involved with, particularly Transatlantic, were also on ice for the foreseeable future. After many years of a successful and increasingly progressive series of christian-themed solo albums, fans had just about resigned themselves to no further recordings from Morse in any other form.

But now all that has changed! Transatlantic has regrouped for a new album, The Whirlwind, released in October of 2009. See the Transatlantic GEPR entry for details! -- Fred Trafton

Øresund Space Collective releases vinyl

As a lover of space rock, I'm always interested to hear when Øresund Space Collective puts out a new album. But their new release, Dead Man In Space, is an actual album, in the old-fashioned vinyl sense of the word. Their 6th release, Dead Man in Space is a vinyl-only release (145 gram vinyl in glossy sleeve with A4 heavy card insert). See the ØSC entry for further information. -- Fred Trafton

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