Musicians Mourn the Death of Guitarist Allan Holdsworth

The renowned member of Soft Machine and Yes was 70.

By Annie Reuter

Respected rock and jazz guitarist and composer Allan Holdsworth died on Saturday (April 15). He was 70. Well known for his complex time signatures and astonishing leads, Holdsworth had collaborated with and influenced many artists. His work with Soft Machine was well-respected and he also played with Yes before launching his solo career. Eddie Van Halen played a key role in helping to promote Holdsworth and he inspired a legion of guitarists, including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Related: Sammy Hagar on Van Halen Twitter Reconciliation: ‘No More Enemies for Me’

While Holdsworth first came to popularity in the 1970s, he continued making music well into his 60s. His last album, Tales From the Vault, was released in 2015. In addition to being lauded for his innovative soloing, which included Van-Halen-style tapping,  Holdsworth was known for his use of the SynthAxe, a rare fretted MIDI controller.

Numerous artists have paid tribute to the late guitarist on social media, including Satriani, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Peter Frampton and Journey’s Neal Schon. While many cite Holdsworth as an inspiration, Frampton called him a “brilliant unique guitar master player.”

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