- 17 May 23
Over the course of a remarkable career, Giblin worked with the likes of Kate Bush, Simple Minds, John Martyn, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Chris de Burgh, Scott Walker and more.
John Giblin – a celebrated bassist and session musician who worked with some of the most influential figures in contemporary music – died this week, aged 71.
The sad news was announced in a post on Facebook by producer Robert M. Corich, who noted that Giblin passed away in Cheltenham after "battling illness."
After kicking off his career in the '70s, Giblin soon began touring and recording with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton and Annie Lennox. Over the decades ahead, he'd go on to work with Paul McCartney, Simple Minds, Joan Armatrading, John Martyn, Mavis Staples, Donovan, Roberta Flack, Ralph McTell, Alan Parsons, Pentangle, Chris De Burgh, Al Green, Gerry Rafferty, Scott Walker, David Sylvian and many others.
In a piece shared on her website, Kate Bush – who first started working with Giblin around 1980, on the Peter Gabriel song 'No Self Control', and her own classic single 'Babooshka' – stated that "everyone loved John."
"He was a really beautiful man in every sense of the word," she resumed. "Everybody wanted to work with him because he was such a great talent and everyone wanted to be his friend because he was such a wonderful person.
"I loved John so very much. He was one of my very dearest and closest friends for over forty years. We were always there for each other. He was very special. I loved working with him, not just because he was such an extraordinary musician but because he was always huge amounts of fun. We would often laugh so much that we had to just give in to it and sit and roar with laughter for a while. He loved to be pushed in a musical context, and it was really exciting to feel him cross that line and find incredibly gorgeous musical phrases that were only there for him. He would really sing. It was such a joy and an inspiration to see where he could take it.
"We’ve all lost a great man, an unmatchable musician and I’ve lost my very special friend. My world will never be the same again without him."
See more tributes to John Giblin below:
John Giblin has passed away.
What a gifted player he was. pic.twitter.com/0BRm3qW7Mk
— P (@P____70) May 15, 2023
RIP bassist extraordinaire John Giblin. John played on many great records and was a frequent collaborator with Kate Bush from Never For Ever onwards, including her Before the Dawn concerts in 2014, where he and Omar Hakim were a rhythm section to be reckoned with pic.twitter.com/oOS5gf5iAp
— Dr. Aaron, PhD🏳️🌈 (@aaronposting) May 16, 2023
One of the true greats, a stunningly gifted, beautiful musician has gone to that great gig in the sky. John Giblin worked with Kate, Bush, Peter Gabriel, Brand X, John Martyn, Simple Minds, Alan Murphy, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Annie Lennox & Peter-John Vettese!
RIP mate x pic.twitter.com/bWRQ8waFFV
— Guitarnation Foundation (@guitarnation_) May 16, 2023
The bass player John Giblin has died. He's probably best known for his time in Simple Minds, but I'm choosing to remember him this way. What a performance. What a song. https://t.co/aBPuZK5beQ
— LF Barfe (@AlanKelloggs) May 16, 2023