MO FOSTER, 22nd December 1944 – 3rd July 2023
Bass guitar legend and author Mo Foster sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning from Stage 4 liver and bile duct cancer. He’d been in the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead for the past three weeks having been diagnose in May around the same time that he played his final gig at Pizza Express Soho in Dean Street with guitarist Ray Russell and “Mo Foster & Friends.”
Mo Foster (born Michael Ralph Foster, 22 December 1944) is an English multi-instrumentalist, record producer, composer, solo artist, author, and public speaker. Through a career spanning over half a century, Foster has toured, recorded, and performed with dozens of artists, including Jeff Beck, Gil Evans, Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Brian May, Scott Walker, Frida of ABBA, Cliff Richard, George Martin, Van Morrison, Dr John, Hank Marvin, Heaven 17 and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has released several albums under his own name, authored a humorous book on the history of “British Rock Guitar”, written numerous articles for music publications, continued to compose production music, and established himself as a public speaker. Foster is an assessor for JAMES, an industry organisation that gives accreditation to music colleges throughout the UK. In 2014, Foster was a recipient of a BASCA Gold Badge Award to honour his lifelong contribution to the British songwriting and composing community.
Here’s Ray Russell‘s moving eulogy posted earlier today on Facebook:
“There wasn’t a gap of two days between either Mo or I calling each other. Once he was with Frieda of ABBA in Sweden, I was in Italy with Greg Walsh we spent evenings on the phone from music to surreal humour. Fifty years has gone by from playing with Jimmy Helms in Spennymoor to now waiting by a bedside of a man brave in death.
“I held his hand, kissed him, said my goodbyes and he fell into a deep sleep. Six hours later he had slipped away hopefully to join the famous others who have left us. From now on Thunder will be laughter and rain will be tears of joy. I know I will see him, the back of his head walking somewhere but I won’t shout out, it won’t be real.
“I feel confronted by a sea of exclusion, where to jump. The person that made trousers flap and out the groove right in the middle and facilitated strong melody lines as his own songs and what we wrote together prove. There will be posts of what musical heights Mo achieved and he was a master but also a master at making the most awful things funny.
“Most of all, he was the closet two only children have been brothers. I feel that a part of me has disappeared like a land slide, a voice I will remember I hope until it’s my turn. My Brother in arms, Fuzzy Bear, Mo-Jo. Two thirds of my life I have loved you and that will never change. On Earth you have educated people to the nature of musicians. And never suffered fools gladly. Your values and integrity were emblazoned on anything you wrote and played and composed. You said a death was like a library burning. Although this was symbolic, I can feel the heat from here. An empty chair, a lead waiting to be attached to the Bass and amp that will remain silent. But you will remain long past the song has ended.”
Mo Foster 1944 – 2023. A life well lived. There will never be another Mo – Goodbye for now. – R.R. 3 July 2023.
Please note there will be no funeral service but an unattended cremation as Mo wished. This will probably be followed by a memorial gig and celebration of his life in London at a future date TBC.