Hawkwind legend Nik Turner has died aged 82, it has been confirmed.
Rumours of Turner’s passing began to circulate on social media earlier today (Friday November 11), with a post on his personal Facebook page confirming the news at around 4pm GMT.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Nik Turner – The Might Thunder Rider, who passed away peacefully at home on Thursday evening,” reads the post. “He has moved onto the next phase of his Cosmic Journey, guided by the love of his family, friends and fans. Watch this space for his arrangements.”
Turner joined Hawkwind in their formative days back in 1969, playing saxophone and flute for the London-based space rock legends across two stints with the band, first from 1969-1976 and once again from 1982-1984. Turner also wrote and co-wrote some of Hawkwind’s most enduring songs from their early years, including hallmark Hawkwind composition Master of the Universe, released on 1971 album In Search Of Space, and Brainstorm, the opening track from 1972’s Doremi Fasol Latido album.
Initially recruited as road manager for Dave Brock and Mick Slattery’s embryonic version of Hawkwind (not least because he was the owner of a van they could use), Turner’s unique, freewheeling style of saxophone playing and love of expressionist music saw him welcomed into the band itself. While both his tenures in Hawkwind ended less than harmoniously, Turner’s musical contributions to the band during his initial run were pivotal in the Londoners’ emergence as one of the original pioneers of space rock.
A full statement is expected from Turner’s representatives soon.