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Thread: Soft Machine Announcement - Roy Babbington Retiring

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    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Soft Machine Announcement - Roy Babbington Retiring

    "It is with sadness that Soft Machine announce that Roy Babbington is retiring from the band as bass player after playing with the band since 1970. His first recording with Soft Machine was with Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper on the album ‘Fourth’. He formally joined the band as Hugh Hopper’s replacement after ‘Six’ in 1973 and his first live appearance as a full band member was Hamburg on May 17th 1973. His final appearance with the band, after 51 years, was at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London on December 6th 2020, with John Etheridge, Theo Travis and John Marshall. (The longest lasting line-up in the band’s complex history.)

    His departure is as a result of hand problems making it difficult to play. He is otherwise in good health and wishes to spend more time fishing and gongoozling. Roy has nominated Fred Thelonious Baker as his successor. Fred Baker was a member of Phil Miller’s In Cahoots and played regularly with Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper, Pip Pyle and with John Etheridge amongst others. Fred recently deputised for Roy on UK and European dates and will join the band for all dates from 2022."
    (from Leonardo at Moonjune)

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    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
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    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
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    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/ + "King Crimson" (2012/updated 2018) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/kingcrimson/
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    The above photos of Roy and Fred were taken at the Hugh Hopper benefit concert at London's 100 Club in 2008.
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
    Legends In Their Own Lunchtime (blog) - https://canterburyscene.wordpress.com/
    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/ + "King Crimson" (2012/updated 2018) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/kingcrimson/
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    Member Mascodagama's Avatar
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    I knew him from straight-ahead jazz before I even got into Soft Machine. One of my favourite albums that he plays on is a collection of Ellington covers with just Stan Tracey on piano and Roy on upright. Lots of space for his lovely melodic sense to come out. Sublime.

    I certainly hope Roy has a fulfilling retirement. He’s more than earned it.
    “your ognna pay pay with my wrath of ballbat”

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    Member Bake 2's Avatar
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    After catching Baker's playing at the 1st Progman Cometh event in 2002 it seems like there couldn't be anyone better for the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bake 2 View Post
    After catching Baker's playing at the 1st Progman Cometh event in 2002 it seems like there couldn't be anyone better for the job.
    In fact he'd already done some of the band's gigs in the summer of 2008, and Roy did those he could do, then formally joined. I can't remember if he'd played with SML/SM again until 2021, but he may have, although Roy didn't often need to be replaced, unlike John Marshall, who has had recurring back issues and also doesn't want to do lengthy tours, which is why he only did part of the 2018 North American tour.
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
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    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/ + "King Crimson" (2012/updated 2018) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/kingcrimson/
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  8. #8
    Been quite a ride! Rest and relax my man!
    Artist formerly known as Phlakaton

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    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    It's nice for once to read about one of these guys going out on his own terms. Congrats, and enjoy your retirement, Roy!
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    John Marshall, who has had recurring back issues and also doesn't want to do lengthy tours, which is why he only did part of the 2018 North American tour.
    I am SO happy I got to see him on that tour before he retires too. One of my all time favorite drummers.
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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I am SO happy I got to see him on that tour before he retires too. One of my all time favorite drummers.
    The show that I saw, Marshall played stupendously (well, they all did, but I was extra impressed by seeing John)….
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  12. #12
    They all were great at the show I saw with WideOpenEars in Berkeley. Glad I got to see Roy keeping it low.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    John Marshall, who has had recurring back issues and also doesn't want to do lengthy tours, which is why he only did part of the 2018 North American tour.
    I wondered about the reason for that. The show I was not one of the ones John played on, I don't think. I forget who deputized for him, but he did a great job. I thought the whole band sounded excellent.

  14. #14
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I wondered about the reason for that. The show I was not one of the ones John played on, I don't think. I forget who deputized for him, but he did a great job. I thought the whole band sounded excellent.
    Gary Husband?

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