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Morgan Fisher

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An archetypal British eccentric whose extensive career spanned from pop to glam to ambient music, Morgan Fisher was born in London in 1950. He first garnered notice playing Hammond organ with the '60s pop band the Love Affair, scoring a number one U.K. hit in 1968 with "Everlasting Love." After buying an early synthesizer, Fisher turned to electronic music, and created a series of scores for experimental films; he also mounted Morgan, a "classical rock" band fronted by former Queen vocalist, Tim Staffell, who was also briefly a member of the Third Ear Band In 1973, Fisher signed on as the pianist for Mott the Hoople, and continued with the group -- sans Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson -- under the abbreviated name Mott. Later rechristened the British Lions, the group disbanded in the late '70s; given his musical background and sartorial splendor -- trademark white suit, homburg, and waxed mustache -- Fisher seemed an unlikely patron of punk, but inspired by the movement, he established his own independent label, Pipe Records, and turned to producing records for artists including the Dead Kennedys, Jayne County, and Cherry Vanilla. After recording 1980's Slow Music, an early ambient collaboration with avant-jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill, Fisher adopted the name Hybrid Kids to produce 1980's A Collection of Classic Mutants, a mock compilation album purportedly made up of cover versions of classic pop hits performed by unknown new wave bands. In fact, the entire record was recorded by Fisher and his friends, including Jah Wobble; soon he mounted Miniatures, another compilation -- this one legitimate -- comprised of 51 one-minute recordings from talents ranging from Robert Wyatt and the Residents to the Damned's Dave Vanian and XTC's Andy Partridge. After 1982's Claws, a collection of Hybrid Kids' Christmas songs, Fisher toured with Queen before embarking on a lengthy sabbatical in India and the U.S. He finally settled in Japan, where he changed his name to Veetdharm and returned to ambient textures with 1984's Look at Life. 1985's Water Music and 1987's Ivories followed before, in 1990, he teamed with Yoko Ono for the tribute Echoes of Lennon. After returning in London in 1994 to take part in a memorial concert for the late Mick Ronson, Fisher began assembling artists to contribute material for the projected Miniatures for the Millennium, which was released in 1995. Inside Satie followed two years later, and Peace in the Heart of the City was issued in 1999 on Cherry Red. Fisher returned the next year to release both Nova Solis (under the Morgan moniker) and Water Music. ~ Jason Ankeny

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01 January 1950 in London, England

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s