Mick Bolton, the keyboardist best known for playing with Mott the Hoople and Dexys Midnight Runners, has reportedly died.

Morgan Fisher, who played keyboards with Mott the Hoople alongside Bolton onstage in 1973, broke the news Friday on Facebook. "RIP Mick Bolton," he wrote, calling the musician his "organ buddy" in the group. He continued, "Sorry I have no more information yet other than he passed away suddenly in his sleep, earlier today. Our hearts go out to his wife Carol, his son, and all friends and family."

According to the official bio on his website, Bolton was born in 1948 in Wigan, England. He began his career in late 1969 as a member of White Myth and remained in that band until late 1971, opening for rock giants like Queen, Free, Humble Pie and Atomic Rooster.

After brief stints in the groups Blind Eye and Clockwork Orange, he joined Mott the Hoople in July 1973 and served as a touring keyboardist through that December. In 1984, after what he described as a "self-imposed decade out of the music business," he joined Dexys Midnight Runners, famous for their 1982 hit "Come On Eileen."

After touring with Dexys through 1986, Bolton found a notable gig offstage: giving keyboard lessons to Paul McCartney's wife and collaborator, Linda McCartney.

"She had tried various teachers but had found them a bit too serious," Bolton wrote. "What she really wanted was just someone to help her gain a bit of confidence on the keyboard and encourage her to enjoy playing. So I drove my old Volkswagen Beetle down to their beautiful farm in Sussex and happily I seemed to be just what she was looking for. For the next few years I would go down to the farm a couple of times a month and we would sit at two keyboards for a couple of hours bashing out old rock and roll songs like 'Tutti Frutti' and 'Be Bop a Lula.'"

"Linda was never going to be a great keyboard player but she had real enthusiasm for playing and singing and wrote some good songs," he added. "Once we were working on one of her songs 'Endless Days' and she said; 'You know Mick there's just something missing in this one — I'll go and make a cup of tea, see if you can come up with something.' In the time it took her to make the tea I wrote a bridge section that she liked so it became part of the song, which is on her [1998 posthumous] album Wide Prairie."

Bolton later contributed to sessions for artists like La Toya Jackson and Loudon Wainwright III.

 

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