R.I.P.: Richard Bell, Former Band and Janis Joplin Collaborator Loses Battle with Cancer

R.I.P.: Richard Bell, Former Band and Janis Joplin Collaborator Loses Battle with Cancer
Toronto-born musician Richard Bell passed away on June 15 after a long battle with cancer. He was 61. The keyboardist/songwriter was best known for his work in Janis Joplin's Full Tilt Boogie Band, as well as being in a later version of the Band.

"I've never known a finer musician and a finer man," former collaborator and friend Colin Linden told CBC. "He had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and for life. At age 61, he played as well or better than he ever played."

Bell appeared in the documentary Festival Express along with Joplin, as well as appearing on her classic album, Pearl. He also recorded with the Band on albums such as Jericho, High on the Hog and Jubilation. In addition, he also recorded with the likes of Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, the Cowboy Junkies, Bruce Cockburn and Bonnie Raitt.

Most recently, Bell was working with Toronto Pork Bellies Futures, and spent time in a Nashville studio earlier this year with a reunited Flying Burrito Brothers.

A memorial held by friends and family will be held today in Toronto,