Skip to main content

Passings: John Tout of Renaissance

John Tout, the keyboardist for the "classic" lineup of Renaissance, died on Friday, May 1 from lung failure at Royal Free Hospital in London.

The band posted the following on their Facebook page:
Renaissance keyboard player John Tout passes away.

John Tout passed away this Friday, May 1st at 4.30pm from lung failure at The Royal Free Hospital, London, England.

He was an amazing musician, highly contributing to the unique sound of the band from 1970 - 1980. He was the quiet (but funny) one in the band, always very caring towards the fans and good friend to Annie Haslam, Terence Sullivan, Jon Camp and Michael Dunford

He will always be in our hearts and music! Please share your thoughts and photos of John.

Renaissance keyboard player John Tout passes away.John Tout passed away this Friday, May 1st at 4.30pm from lung...
Posted by Renaissance on Monday, May 4, 2015

Renaissance was originally formed by Keith Reif and Jim McCarty after they left the Yardbirds but, after finding little success in their new classically-oriented sound, the band broke up. By 1970, a completely different lineup was performing under the name including keyboardist Tout.

Annie Haslam joined the band in January 1971 and manager Miles Copeland III rebuilt Renaissance around her and Tout. After a bit of shuffling with the rest of the band, a final lineup was set and they entered the studio to record the band's third album and first with the new musicians, Prologue.

The album, released in 1972, didn't dent the charts on either side of the Atlantic but the followup, 1973's Ashes Are Burning, went to 171 on the Billboard 200. By this time, the group has stabilized in their "classic" lineup of Haslam, Tout, Jon Camp, Terrence Sullivan and Michael Dunford, all of which would stay together from Ashes through their 1979 album Azure d'Or, a line of albums that included the classics Turn of the Cards (1974) and Scheherazade and Other Love Stories (1975). They also scored their one and only major hit, Northern Lights (1978 / #10 U.K.) during this period.

Tout left Renaissance in 1980 and didn't return until 1998 when the group partially reformed and recorded the album Tuscany. While listed as a member of the group until the next year, John did not go on tour in support of the new album.

In 2004, Tout did participate in a project by John Sullivan called Renaissant and, in 2008, made his first appearance in the U.S. in over 25 years with Haslam and the Jann Klose Band.

The following year, Tout suffered a heart attack which was the beginning of his worsening health situation.

Michael Dunford, also a member of the classic lineup, died in 2012.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Prokofiev rules! (One of John's t-shirts, I believe). Thanks for the music!