Soft Machine co-founder Kevin Ayers dies in France
LONDON (AP) - Kevin Ayers, an influential singer-songwriter who co-founded the band Soft Machine, has died in France, his record label said Thursday. He was 68.
Ayers was an important figure in the British psychedelic movement spearheaded by the Beatles in the late 1960s. He did not achieve sustained commercial success, but his work is treasured by musicians and many fans.
Jack McLean, assistant to the managing director of Lo-Max Records in London, said Thursday that Ayers' body had been discovered in his bed at his home in the medieval village Montolieu in the south of France.
"We believe he died Feb. 18 of natural causes and was found two days later," McLean said. "He hadn't been ill, but he lived a rock `n' roll lifestyle and everything that comes with that."
Ayers, who was raised partly in Malaysia, moved to Canterbury on his return to England and formed Soft Machine in 1966 with drummer and singer Robert Wyatt. They took the name from a novel by beat generation author William Burroughs.
The band was part of the "Canterbury scene"- a group of bands known for a pastoral approach to music that combined elements of jazz, folk and rock music.
Soft Machine and Pink Floyd both enjoyed wide followings for their imaginative and experimental take on psychedelia. They were also known for their free-form, jazz-influenced live improvisations.
Ayers also had a lengthy solo career and made many collaborative records, working with Syd Barrett, Brian Eno, Nico and others. He released "The Unfairground" in 2007, ending a lengthy hiatus with an album that was critically acclaimed.
The record company said Ayers is survived by three daughters and a sister.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- CBS Sports analyst: Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez will be Pac-12 Coach of the Year
- AD Greg Byrne: Arizona Wildcats will schedule tougher non-conference foes in future
- Report: Class of 2016 quarterback Shea Patterson decommits from Arizona
- Arizona coach Rodriguez on starting QB: 'The truth is I don't really know'
- Arizona Wildcats picked fourth in Pac-12 preseason media poll
- Greg Byrne, University of Arizona Athletic Director - Friday August 8Greg Byrne talks about the new ruling that gives autonomy to the Power 5 conferences.
- Bucky Brooks, NFL Network draft analyst - Friday May 2Bucky Brooks discusses what the Cardinals should do with the 20th overall pick.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Tuesday April 15Adam and Jarrett talk about UA's early departures.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Thursday April 3Adam and Jarrett recap a tough loss as well as the season itself.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Friday March 28Adam and Jarrett talk about Arizona's run to the Elite 8.