Multi-instrumentalist, Ian McDonald, co-founder of the highly influential King Crimson, along with hard rock titans, Foreigner, has passed away at the age of 75.
According to a representative, McDonald “passed away peacefully on February 9, 2022 in his home in New York City, surrounded by his family”. No cause of death has been officially brought forward.
McDonald was recruited into King Crimson by Robert Fripp, along with Michael and Peter Giles, in 1968. Although he only appeared on the band’s debut album, 1969’s ‘In The Court Of The Crimson King’ he was very instrumental in defining the band’s lasting prog-rock sound.
Ian McDonald co-wrote and co-produced every song on the band’s debut. He also played a wide range of instruments on the project, including brass, woodwinds and keyboards, particularly the Mellotron. He took his leave from the band the same year the album was released, alongside drummer Michael Giles, briefly forming the spinoff act McDonald and Giles.
“Someone asked me, ‘Are you surprised people still talking about this record 50 years later?’ I said, ‘Well, yes. But on the other hand, not really,’ McDonald said of King Crimson’s debut during a 2019 interview with Ultimate Classic Rock.
Years before he passed, he played as part of New York band, Honey West, releasing one album – 2017’s ‘Bad Old World’.