King Crimson And Foreigner Co-Founder Ian McDonald Dead At 75

King Crimson And Foreigner Co-Founder Ian McDonald Dead At 75

Ian McDonald, co-founder of King Crimson and Foreigner, has died. He was 75. A cause of death was not given, but a spokesperson for the multi-instrumentalist said he “passed away peacefully” surrounded by his family at his home in New York City.

Born in 1946 in Osterley, Middlesex, England, McDonald co-founded King Crimson in 1968 with Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Greg Lake, and Peter Sinfield. On the prog group’s 1969 debut, In The Court Of The Crimson King, McDonald contributed everything from backing vocals to production, plus myriad instruments: saxophone, flute, clarinet, Mellotron, harpsichord, piano, organ, and vibraphone.

In the ’70s, McDonald launched Foreigner with Mick Jones, Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, and Ed Gagliardi. Playing rhythm guitar, woodwinds, and keys, McDonald’s time with Foreigner lasted until 1980 and included albums Foreigner (1977), Double Vision (1978), and Head Games (1979).

More recently, McDonald reunited with Foreigner’s surviving original members in 2017 and 2018. In other instances, McDonald worked as a session musician, playing with T. Rex, Steve Hackett and Asia.

“We were a good band, what can I say?” he told Rolling Stone of his time in King Crimson in 2019. “It was really interesting music, and the live shows were a lot of fun. The improvisations, we just used to go off in really weird places and we’d support each other. We trusted each other.”

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