pulp steve mackey
Jarvis Cocker & Steve Mackey | Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns

Steve Mackey, Pulp Bass Player and Record Producer, Dead at 56

Pulp bassist and renowned producer Steve Mackey has died at age 56. His wife Katie Grand confirmed the news via a post on Instagram last night (Thursday, 2nd March), writing that Mackey had spent three months in the hospital “fighting with all his strength and determination”.

“We are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye my brilliant, beautiful husband, Steve Mackey,” Grand wrote. “Steve died today, a loss which has left myself, his son Marley, parents Kath and Paul, sister Michelle and many friends all heartbroken.”

Pulp: ‘Common People’

“Steve was the most talented man I knew,” Grand continued. “An exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker. As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered.”

Mackey’s cause of death had not been revealed at the time of writing.

Pulp also shared a tribute to their “beloved friend” across their social pages, reflecting on a time when the band were on tour in South America in 2012. “We had a day off and Steve suggested we go climbing in the Andes,” the band wrote. “So we did… it was a completely magical experience. Far more magical than staring at the hotel room wall all day (which is probably what we’d have done otherwise).

“Steve made things happen. In his life & in the band. We’d very much like to think that he’s back in those mountains now, on the next stage of his adventure.”

Mackey joined Pulp in 1989 and played on the band’s third album Separations in 1992. He would go on to play on all of their albums after that, including on their major label debut His ’n’ Hers and the acclaimed Different Class (which spawned the single ‘Common People’).

Outside of Pulp, he was an in-demand producer, working on Florence + The Machine’s Lungs, MIA’s single ‘Galang’, and Arcade Fire’s Everything Now – which he worked on with Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter.

In recent years he turned his attention to fashion photography, working with Giorgio Armani, Miu Miu, and more. Pulp recently announced a number of tour dates throughout 2023, playing shows throughout the UK in May. However, in October, Mackey confirmed he would not be taking part.

“I’ve decided to continue the work I’m engaged in – music, filmmaking and photography projects, and will not be joining them for these UK shows just announced,” he wrote on Instagram.

Further Reading

Pulp Confirm 2023 Reunion, Announce Tour Dates

Pulp’s Nick Banks: “I Thought ‘Common People’ Was A Tuneless Dirge”

Pulp Top BBC’s ‘Greatest Britpop Anthems’ Poll

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