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Midge Ure's fundraiser

Artists to support former Japan bassist who has cancer

  • 11/06/2010
  • Adrian Larkin
Japan 286

Live Aid mastermind Midge Ure has told 6 Music he is planning another fund raising concert. It follows the recent news that Mick Karn, former bass player with the band Japan, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Despite releasing a series of solo albums, Karn, who has worked with Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading and Gary Numan is financially insecure - his website states that his major concern now is "security and well-being of his wife and young son."

Midge Ure, who founded the charity supergroup Band Aid and went on to organise the charity super-concerts Live Aid and Live 8 says he's hoping artists come together to lend their support.

"When it comes to a situation like Mick's who is in dire straits, he needs help, financial help and emotional help," he said.

Japan to reunite?

The concert is likely to take place sometime this year, but Ure says it's just at the start of the planning stage and no acts have been confirmed as yet. 

"I have had a lot of contact from people I haven't spoken to in a long time, we are looking at availabilities for various venues, it’s a long slow process, so we need to nail the venue and date," he said.

The 02 has been ruled out as "too ambitious" but Ure says " the interest level in this is huge" and is confident in reuniting the rest of Japan for the special gig.

"You are going to have most of Japan there doing stuff, certainly Steve and Richard will be there and people that Mick has worked with over the years, he has huge respect, he is one of the good guys, that's what's shocking to everybody. I think the interest in this will be huge."

"I think Mick's influenced everybody, until I heard Japan, I had never heard a bass guitar played like that, it was almost like playing a lead instrument, incredibly percussive and melodic, something that inspired me," he added.

Life after Japan

After Japan broke up Karn recorded a solo album forming Dalis Car with Peter Murphy of gothic post-punk group Bauhaus.

In the 1990s he worked with guitarist David Torn to produce Bestial Cluster (1993) and The Tooth Mother in 1995.

Between these came an experimental project, Polytown, again with Torn and drummer Terry Bozzio. 

David Torn is now a very close friend of Karn and is supporting him as he tries to recover, key to that is raising money for his family - Torn told 6 Music the outlook wasn't great.

"The situation is not very good, he is in treatment for these cancers and we will have more idea in 2 weeks, but appears the cancer has spread, he is going through chemo right now - but surrounded by family and friends, he has a positive attitude."

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