The family of guitarist John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson, who formed a key collaborative partnership with David Bowie in the early years of his career, confirmed the musician has passed away.
Fate brought Hutch and Bowie together through simple happenstance in 1966. A young Hutch left Scarborough behind and ventured to London, as so many did, with the figurative sun on his back, a guitar under his arm, rambling forwards on a whim of the zeitgeist.
He arrived, as most musicians did, in the famed Marquee Club, where he inquired whether anyone was looking for a guitarist. It just so happened that Bowie was in need of a lead for his new backing band The Buzz. Sadly, for David Bowie and The Buzz, gigs dried up as audiences didn’t take to their strange songs, and Hutch had to head home owing to a heavily malnourished wallet.
However, as we all know, David Bowie wasn’t through with his avant-garde creative outings just yet, thus when Hutch returned to London a few years later, Bowie would recruit his service once more a project dubbed Feathers. Feathers consisted of coupling strange folk-psychedelia songs with mime and dance in a flower-clad trio.
Once again, it was never going to be a commercially successful venture that launched him to stardom, but it was integral to his artistic rise, as was Hutch himself. Hutch had learnt his trade in the world of jazz, and he had all the obscure chord structures that Bowie wanted to make their songs stand out.
In the end, it was with Hutch that Bowie first foraged into the mainstream, as he recruited his services to help out with ‘Space Oddity’. You can read the full story of how they crafted the song together by clicking here.
He would continue to work with Bowie intermittently from 1966 until 1973 as a touring guitarist and creative confidant. The pair would remain friends throughout their lives. Following the partnership, Hutch would continue to perform as a jazz guitarist alongside his career.
David Bowie’s official Twitter page broke the news, with the statement and accompanying image below. As of yet, no cause of death has been announced, although it is known that he endured a long battle with illness. With no public record, his age at the time of passing is also indeterminate.
He is survived by his own music, his mammoth contribution to Bowie and his loving family.