Eric Haydock, the original bass player of The Hollies, died Sunday, January 6, at the age of 75. According to a message on the band’s official Facebook page, Haydock “passed away peacefully at his home,” while the Manchester Evening News reports that he’d “been ill for some time.”
Eric played with The Hollies from 1962 until 1966, when he exited the group after a conflict with its management. Haydock played on many of The Hollies’ early U.K. hits, including “Just One Look,” “Here I Go Again” and the chart-topping “I’m Alive.” He’s also featured on the band’s first top 40 hit in the U.S., “Look Through Any Window.”
Hollies drummer Bobby Elliott paid tribute to Haydock in a post on the band’s official website and Facebook page.
“In the early 1960s Eric was one of the finest bass players on the planet,” Elliott writes. “Along with [guitarist] Tony [Hicks], Eric and I were the rhythm section that created the springboard for [Allan] Clarke[,] Hicks and [Graham] Nash to launch that famous three-way Hollies harmony.”
He adds, “On the early package tours, Dave Clark, the Kinks and artists of the period would watch from the wings as we effortlessly rocked the screaming theatre audiences into a frenzy…Although Eric left the Hollies in 1966, I occasionally listen enthralled by our BBC and Abbey Road recording sessions and dear Eric masterfully playing his six string bass. Happy days.”
Haydock was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with The Hollies in 2010. During his acceptance speech, he quipped, “If we had known what we were doing at the time, and that it would mean so much to so many people, I’m sure we would’ve tried a lot harder.”
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