Damo Suzuki, singer for krautrock group Can, dead at 74

Damo Suzuki

Damo Suzuki, the lead singer for the 1970s krautrock musical group Can, died Friday. He was 74.

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Suzuki’s death was confirmed on Saturday via Can’s Instagram channel, Deadline reported.

While no cause of death was given, The Guardian reported that the Cologne, Germany-based musician was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014. Suzuki revealed in a 2022 documentary that he had previously been given a 10% chance of survival, according to Rolling Stone.

“His boundless creative energy has touched so many over the whole world, not just with Can, but also with his all-continent-spanning Network Tour. Damo’s kind soul and cheeky smile will be forever missed,” Can wrote. “He will be joining Michael, Jaki and Holger for a fantastic jam!”

Suzuki was preceded in death by the band’s founding members, Jaki Liebezeit and Holger Czukay, along with guitarist Michael Karoli, The Guardian reported.

Suzuki, who was born Kenji Suzuki in Tokyo on Jan. 16, 1950, joined the band in 1970 after he was spotted performing on a street in Munich, Germany. Liebezeit and Czukay saw him singing and invited to join the group onstage that night, according to Rolling Stone.

“There were no instructions from the band,” Suzuki said in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2018. “I was meant to just walk on stage and do anything,” The Guardian reported.

Between 1970 and 1973, Suzuki and Can released a trio of albums -- “Tago Mago,” “Ege Bamyasi” and “Future Days,” according to the newspaper.

Musicians such as David Bowie, Radiohead and Talking Heads have all cited the German group and Suzuki’s freeform style as an influence.

“I don’t like to play the same piece again and again,” Suzuki told The Guardian in 2022. “Repetition is boring. Every performance should be a unique experience.”

Suzuki left Can in 1973 and later formed his own band and music label, Deadline reported.

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