Earlier on Thursday, the band announced that bassist Steve Mackey has passed away. Mackey lived to be 56 years old.
Mackey had been a member of Pulp since the late 1980s, joining the band when they were a few years shy of releasing some of their cult favorite hits. Formed in the late seventies, Pulp would reach new heights in the mid-1990s after releasing their first two albums with a major label. 1995’s ‘Different Class’ featured one of Pulp’s most memorable cuts, ‘Common People’.
The band would commemorate Mackey’s passing with an Instagram post. The music world also offered their condolences on social media, with countless tweets of tribute as well.
Pulp marks the passing of bassist Steve Mackey on Instagram
Pulp shared a scenic photo of Mackey to their social media accounts on Thursday, showing Mackey taking a walk in the Andes during a tour stop.
“Our beloved bassist and friend Steve Mackey passed away this morning,” the band began in their announcement. “Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.”
Sharing some insight into the background of the photo, the band continues: “This photo of Steve is from when Pulp were on tour in South America in 2012. We had a day off and Steve suggested we go climbing in the Andes. So we did us. & it was an absolutely magical experience.
Much more magical than staring at the hotel room wall all day (which is probably what we would have done otherwise). Steve made things happen in his life & in the band. & we’d very much like to believe that he’s back in the mountains now, on the next leg of his adventure. Safe travels, Steve. We hope to catch up with you one day,” the band concluded.
Mackey’s passing was met with many condolences in the comments section of Pulp’s Instagram post.
“Absolutely heartbroken,” one fan wrote. “Steve was the reason I started playing bass and was my favorite member of Pulp. Rest in peace Steve, thanks for everything,” they concluded with a heart emoji.
“So sorry for your loss,” another fan wrote. “Glad to have seen him perform with you, one of the best days of my life.”
“Happy to have made him (along with Pulp) a part of my life. He will live long in minds and hearts. Sorry for your loss,” another admirer commented.
“This is a sad day for the Pulp family,” one supporter commented. “Still can’t believe he’s gone. Rest in peace dear Steve, and thank you for everything. Your Chilean fans will never forget you.”
Mackey’s wife revealed he had been battling illness
The exact cause of Mackey’s death is unknown, but his wife revealed that he had been hospitalized and battling an illness for several months. According to Pitchfork, he had been in the hospital for three months.
In her tribute to Mackey, his wife Katie wrote: “Steve was the most talented man I have ever known, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker. As in life, he was loved by all whose paths he crossed in the many creative disciplines he conquered.
“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words. The family have asked for privacy at this time,” her statement concluded.
Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch tweeted“I am so sorry for Steve Mackey’s family and for the Pulp family. Belle and Sebastian send our best regards, prayers and condolences. A vital part of a vital band. [heart emoji]”
Massive attack celebrated with a tweet quoting lyrics from Pulp’s “Sorted For E’s & Wizz.”
Record label Rough Trade tweeted“We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Mackey, legendary Pulp bassist and established producer in his own right. A camaraderie that translated into their brilliant music. Our thoughts go out to the band, his family and friends.”