Magma have announced the death of their former guitarist James Mac Gaw. The musician, who released the solo album La Fin Des Temples last December, had been part of the band’s live line-up but retired from performing in 2015 following the diagnosis of an aggressive brain tumour. Despite stepping down from the stage, he continued to support Magma and even appeared in filmmaker Laurent Goldstein’s 2017 documentary, To Life, Death and Beyond – The Music of Magma.
In a translated post on Facebook, vocalist Stella (also the wife of bandleader Christian Vander) wrote:
“You left today, women's day, you the charmer of these ladies... and gentlemen. Everyone was under your spell James, beyond the huge musician was the friend who knew how to listen, encourage, advise. You were “a child of Magma", you found your place with us, naturally. All those phrases sung in unison with your guitar, thousands of times, looking for the perfect mix, absolute sound. It didn't happen in a day but after a while the osmosis became perfect. Your fight against sickness was unusual, you foiled all the predictions and we ended up believing you were going to win. You left serene, life to the end... surrounded by Morgane, your wonderful wife, John and Louise, your beautiful children.
Magma lost one of her most loyal fighters, I lost a friend.”
Earlier this year, Magma released the new retrospective set, Retrospektïw 1, 2 and 3 on CD.