by VVN Music
Progressive rock legend Roye Albrighton of the band Nektar has passed away in Poole, Dorset, England at the age of 67. According to reports, he had been suffering with an illness for some time although there were no specifics.
The band released a statement saying:
"It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our friend, comrade, rock legend and father, Roye Albrighton, who passed away peacefully last night. May his six fingered chords and the warmth of his smile last eternal." NektarBassist Derek Moore said:
It is with a heavy heart I have to report that our music brother Roye, after a long illness, died last night. His organs just gave out on him. He was fighting against the infection that grasped him until he could fight no more.Roye began playing guitar at the age of 10 and learned from artists as diverse as the Ventures and Jimi Hendrix. His first band, the Peeps, recorded on Phillips and its successor, the Rainbows, worked with CBS. While neither band gained any great success, they did travel a bit on the European continent where Albrighton met drummer Ron Howden at The Star Club in Hamburg who was in the band Prophecy. They became fast friends.
We had our differences over the years, but our respect for each other has always been strong. I would say he was in the top five guitarists of the last five decades. We were both strong personalities and pushed each other to do better and go forward all the time, to go further and further.
We are all stunned. Roye, wherever you are, know that through all I have always loved you as a brother. I was always hoping we would get together one last time. Now that will have to be put on hold.
For a time, Roye moved to Sweden before returning to the U.K. to play with the British band The Outsiders. In late 1969, he was asked to become the lead guitarist in Prophecy which led to the forming of Nektar with Allan Freeman on keyboards, Moore on bass and Howden on drums.
They released their first album, Journey to the Centre of the Eye, in 1971, which they followed with A Tab in the Ocean (1971) and ...Sounds Like This (1973) but it was Remember the Future, released later in '73, that propelled them to the public eye. The album, about a blind boy who communicates with extraterrestrials, leaped to number 19 in the U.S.
Their next three albums, Down to Earth (1974 / #32), Recycled (1975 / #89) and Magic is a Child (1977 / #177) also charted although they never had an album make the British Albums chart. Albrighton left the band prior to the sessions for Magic, replaced by Dave Nelson, but returned later in the decade to record their final album during the band's first incarnation, Man in the Moon.
Albrighton went on to form the band Grand Alliance with Derek Holt, a former member of the Climax Blues Band. The band lasted only a couple of years and Roye returned to England where he laid low until the mid-90's when he started work on a solo album, The Follies of Rupert Treacle (1999).
That same year, Albrighton had a potentially fatal liver infection and he survived only through the donation of a kidney. Reinvigorated with life and music, he reformed Nektar and, in 2000, the released their comeback album The Prodigal Son. Between 2000 and 2013, the band released a total of five studio albums along with a number of live discs. Their last album was 2013's Time Machine.