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books1-1Bobby Keys, the Rolling Stones saxophone player for more than 40 years and famous for that immortal sax solo in ‘Brown Sugar’, has died. Keys who had been unwell for months, was replaced on the recent Australian tour by Karl Denson.

Born in 1943 in Texas, Keys started out playing sax in bands in the 50s and was called on as a session guy for legends such as Buddy Holly and Bobby Vee. Apart from his long association with The Rolling Stones, he has also recorded and performed with George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, Eric Clapton, The Faces and many, many other iconic artists.

Misfortune has plagued The Rolling Stones this year, firstly with the suicide of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott.  The original Australian dates were consequently postponed until November. Then a Jagger throat infection lead to the cancellation of the Hanging Rock concert for a second time. Now comes the sad news of Keys’ death. Fortunately, some Australian fans got to see Bobby Keys play with his own band The Suffering Bastards when they stayed behind in Australia after the March Stones tour postponement. Anyone who caught the show at Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre witnessed an incredible rock show and a great musical history lesson.

Keith Richards left this short but heartfelt message on his Facebook page this morning, “Another good bye to another good friend. I will miss you, Bobby.” In November, sources close to The Stones suggested that Keys was in rehab and doing well, hoping to join the band again in 2015. However, his battle with cirrhosis came to an end this morning.

RIP Bobby Keys, your work will live on with classic album recordings such as Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, All Things Must Past and Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

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