Goblin guitarist Massimo Morante dead at 69

(Image credit: Press)

Founding member and guitar player of Italian progressive rock band Goblin, Massimo Morante, has died, aged 69, the band have reported.

In a short Facebook post the band said: "Goblin announce with a heavy heart and in total disbelief the passing of founder and guitar master Massimo Morante."

Morante's daughter Valerie added in her own social media post: "It is with indescribable pain, a pain that trumps words, that breaks the breath and hammer the heart, that I announce the death of my father, Massimo Morante."

Morante (far left in the above photo) along with keyboard player Claudio Simonetti, bassist Fabio Pignatelli and dummer Walter Martino, under the name Oliver, came to the attention of Yes producer Eddie Offord, who urged the band to move to London to work with him. Drummer Carlo Bordini and English vocalist Clive Haynes later joined but the band were forced back to Italy when money ran out.

In Italy Tony Tartartini replaced Haynes and the band recorded a self-titled album as Cherry Five, before, in 1975, the band began working with composer Giroegio Gaslini on music for Dario Argento's film Profondo Rosso (Deep Red). Following a dispute between Gaslini and Argento, the band were given one night to pen the film's score and a day to record it. When the album was released the band had changed their name to Goblin.

Between 1975 and 1978 the band were hugely successful, working with Argento on 1977's Suspiria and his George Romero's Dawn of The Dead as well as many other film scores. Profondo Rosso would sell over a million copies and spent 52 weeks on the Italian charts.

Goblin fragmented after that, but reunited to work again with Dario Argento on 1982's Tenebrae. The band briefly reunited in 2000 to again work with Argento on Non ho sonno (Sleepless), and again as Back To Goblin in 2005, without Simonetti, who would form his own version of the band. Subsequently, with various line-ups, there has been both Goblin Rebirth and Goblin Keys.

Morante, along with Pignatelli, Maurizio Guarini and Agostino Marangolo released Four Of A Kind as Goblin in 2014 and the band had remained a going concern ever since, touring around the world. the band released their most recent album, Fearless, in 2018.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.