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Can's Damo Suzuki Has Died, Aged 74
Christian Eede , February 10th, 2024 17:48

The group confirmed the Japanese vocalist's passing in a social media post

Damo Suzuki, the Japanese singer who served as lead vocalist for Can, has died at the age of 74.

Suzuki's passing was confirmed by the band in a social media post, which did not reveal a cause of death, today (February 10). He had been battling colon cancer for a decade, and previously said he had been given a 10 percent chance of survival.

"It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our wonderful friend Damo Suzuki, yesterday, Friday 9th February 2024," Can said in a statement. "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 [Karoli], Jaki [Liebezeit] and Holger [Czukay] for a fantastic jam!"

Born Kenji Suzuki in Kobe, Japan in January 1950, he spent his late teenage years travelling around Europe and busking. He met Czukay and Liebezeit by chance in 1970 while performing on the street in Munich as the two Can members sat outside a café.

Vocalist Malcolm Mooney had recently left Can at that point after performing on their first album, Monster Movie, and so Czukay and Liebezeit invited Suzuki to join the fold. He took up their offer and performed with them on stage that night.

Suzuki remained part of Can until 1973, performing on some of their best-loved projects, such as Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and Future Days. On stage and on record, he often improvised his lyrics and sung them in no specific language.

Following his departure from the band in 1973, Suzuki took a decade-long hiatus from working on and performing music. He also became a Jehovah's Witness during this period, and got married.

After leaving the church, he returned to performing in 1983, and launched Damo Suzuki's Network, which saw him perform improvised live shows alongside musicians local to the areas that he was playing in.

Suzuki continued to tour and release music through the years that followed, with a number of collaborative records coming out particularly since the turn of the 2010s. His most recent full-length record, made with Spiritczualic Enhancement Center and titled Arkaoda, was released in 2022. A memoir, I Am Damo Suzuki, was also written with co-author Paul Woods and published in 2019.