Gordon Haskell was born on 27th April 1946 at a nursing home in the village of Verwood, just north of Bournemouth. His death was announced on 18th October 2020.
Taking an interest in music from an early age, Gordon loved to play the family piano and also enjoyed playing an accoustic guitar that belonged to his sister’s boyfriend.
While he was at Wimborne Grammar School his class mate Robert Fripp introduced him to the bass guitar and the two of them played together in several bands (The Ravens and The League Of Gentlemen) at local clubs and village halls.
1965 was really the year when Gordon’t music career started to take off, albeit slowly, when he joined Southampton based band The Fleur de Lys, who had managed to get signed up by Immediate Records in London and played gigs all over the UK as well as a month in Germany. They became a session band for Atlantic Records and moved their base to London, appearing on John Peel’s “Top Gear” in 1967 alongside Cream, Procol Harem and Traffic.
Gordon was by this time writing his own songs and found some success with “Lazy Life“. The song was covered by William E. and reached #1 in South Africa. It was also covered by Heart and Soul reaching #2 in the Australian charts. Johnny Walker made it Song Of The Week on Radio Caroline. Billy Fury also did a cover of the song in 1984.
1968 came and Gordon left Fleur des Lys to join The Flowerpot Men, who had achieved chart success the previous year with “Let’s Go To San Francisco”.
As a bass guitarist and vocalist, he is yet another of the members of King Crimson to come from the Bournemouth area.
Preferring the musical style of Nat King Cole and Ray Charles to the psychedelic style that was evolving from the band, Gordon left and played for a while with artists such as Cliff Richard and Tim Hardin in the early 19760’s, as well as with the cult folk rock band Stackridge .
The 1980 brought depression and debt, and Gordon ended up for a while playing in bars in Denmark, but his fortune turned around in 2001 when his jazz ballard How Wonderful You Are which was given to BBC Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker the day before 9/11. This song became the most requested song on Radio 2, even before it was released as a single.
An album Harry’s Bar was released in 2002 and made it to #2 in the UK Album charts, and a DVD was made about his life and The Road To Harry’s Bar in 2005.
Gordon had more recently been working on his autobiography.