There’s another sad musical passing of note this week.
Paul Buckmaster, the orchestrator and string arranger who created iconic tracks for Elton John, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks, Guns N’ Roses, Chris Cornell and scores of others, died Tuesday (November 7) in Los Angeles at the age of 71. No cause of death has been revealed.
Born in London, Buckmaster started as a cellist but earned acclaim as an arranger starting with Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in 1969, the same year he began working with John. Buckmaster also worked with the Rolling Stones on 1971’s Sticky Fingers album and Miles Davis on On The Corner the following year, and in addition to artists Buckmaster composed the score for the Bowie film “The Man Who Fell To Earth.” He won a Grammy Award in 2002 for his string arrangement for Train‘s “Drops Of Jupiter.” No memorial arrangements have yet been announced.
John tweeted on Wednesday “#RIPPaulBuckmaster. So heartbroken. He helped make me the artist I am. A revolutionary arranger who took my songs and made them soar.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.