Can singer Damo Suzuki passes away at 74

    The Hawk
    February11/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Can's unique journey and Suzuki's legacy explored, as fans mourn the loss of a music icon. Variety reports on the influential era of German groups, including Can, in the late 1960s.

    Late singer Damo Suzuki

    Kobe [Japan]: Damo Suzuki, the Japanese lead singer of the groundbreaking band Can, has recently passed away, according to a statement on the band's social media pages.
    Despite having been battling colon cancer for a decade, no cause of death was given. He was 74 years old, reported Variety.

    "It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our wonderful friend Damo Suzuki, yesterday, Friday 9th February 2024," the statement reads. "His boundless creative energy has touched so many over the whole world, not just with Can, but also with his all-continent-spanning Network Tour. Damo's kind soul and cheeky smile will be forever missed.
    "He will be joining Michael, Jaki and Holger for a fantastic jam!," the note concludes, along with a message of love to his family, referencing deceased fellow Can members Michael Karoli (guitar), Jaki Liebezeit (drums), and Holger Czukay (bass and electronics).

    According to Variety, along with Kraftwerk, Neu and others, Can was a leader of the innovative and experimental coterie of German groups that arose in the wake of psychedelia in the late 1960s, loosely grouped under the "Krautrock" tag. While the groups began at a similar starting point and even shared some members, they quickly branched into wildly diverging directions, with Can pursuing a more organic and improvisatory path than the others.
    The group's original singer, Michael Mooney, had quit after the publication of its debut album, "Monster Movie" in 1969; Suzuki, who had left Japan as a youngster to tour in Europe, was busking on a street in Munich when Liebezeit and Czukay asked him to join the group onstage that night. He formally joined the band in 1970 and contributed to some of its most well-known and important albums, including 'Soundtracks', 'Tago Mago', 'Ege Bamyasi', and 'Future Days'.

    His unstructured singing style, impressionistic lyrics, and frequently fabricated words blend seamlessly with the group's improvisations, which may last for dozens of minutes; the whole version of their 1970 classic 'Mother Sky' clocks in at over half hour.
    Suzuki left the group after the release of "Future Days," marrying a German woman who was a Jehovah's Witness and focusing on the religion's practice over the following decade. He returned to music in 1983 and released a series of solo projects and toured over the years, although his illness impaired his abilities in recent years.
    He never again performed with Can, which recorded a series of albums without replacing him after his departure. The group has been releasing a series of archival live recordings in recent years, several of which feature Suzuki, according to Variety.