Japan Bassist Mick Karn Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer as Band Plot Reunion
Published Jun 11, 2010Mick Karn, former bassist for new wave quintet Japan, has been diagnosed with an advanced form of terminal cancer. Despite a string of solo albums in the 2000s and work with Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading and Gary Numan, the musician is in financial straits, and is seeking the help of friends and fans to ensure, as his website points out, the "security and well-being of his wife and young son."
On June 4, the following message was posted to Karn's website (via Dangerous Minds):
With great sadness we regret to inform you that Mick has recently been diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer. Mick is currently in a positive mood and undergoing further tests and treatment. His family and friends are close with him, supporting him in practical ways, and surrounding him with their love, friendship and care.
Mick has been struggling financially for some considerable time now and we are hoping that this appeal may help to raise funds for any necessary treatment and perhaps go some way towards providing a small degree of financial support whilst Mick's immediate family provide the care and comfort we would all wish for him. We are hoping that his friends, fans and musical colleagues will, over the coming months, offer any support they feel capable of giving. Quite aside from the sheer brunt of daunting medically-related costs, Mick's clear and major concern is for the security and well being of his wife and young son.
If you would like to make a donation whether as an individual or as a group, you can do so via the paypal link below which has been set up for this sole and express purpose. Any support you are able to give, no matter how small, could make a difference in helping Mick cope during this difficult period. His friends will be looking at a variety of ways to raise funds.
Meanwhile, BBC 6Music reports that Midge Ure, the man behind Band Aid and member of more than a few bands in his time (Thin Lizzy, Ultravox, Visage, etc.), has urged fans to give Karn both "financial help and emotional help." He is also currently organizing a fundraising concert for Karn. While no acts are confirmed yet for the concert, which is to take place sometime this year, Ure has his sights on reuniting Japan for the show.
Ure said, "You are going to have most of Japan there doing stuff, certainly Steve and Richard will be there and people that Mick has worked with over the years, he has huge respect, he is one of the good guys, that's what's shocking to everybody. I think the interest in this will be huge. I think Mick's influenced everybody, until I heard Japan, I had never heard a bass guitar played like that, it was almost like playing a lead instrument, incredibly percussive and melodic, something that inspired me."
On Wednesday (June 9), Karn's website stated that "Mick has been referred to a cancer specialist hospital and yesterday discussed treatment with them. Two weeks of extensive therapy begin next week before his case is re-assessed."
Ure added, "The situation is not very good, he is in treatment for these cancers and we will have more idea in two weeks, but appears the cancer has spread, he is going through chemo right now - but surrounded by family and friends, he has a positive attitude."
To donate financially or to send a message, visit Karn's website here.