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Tributes are paid to musician Bobby Keys

Tributes are paid to musician Bobby Keys

TRIBUTES have been paid to veteran musician Bobby Keys who has passed away. He was 70.

Mr. Keys played saxophone for some of the greats in rock’n’roll, including The Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, John Lennon and Eric Clapton.

The Texan had played with The Rolling Stones for more than 45 years, appearing on classic tracks such as Brown Sugar (see below), Live With Me and Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (see below).

In a statement The Stones said they were “devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player”. The statement continued: “Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the ban since the 1960s. He will be greatly missed.”

As a teenager, Mr. Keys had played with his friend Buddy Holly before going on in the early Sixties to play with Bobby Vee and touring with the likes of Little Anthony, Billy Stewart and Freddy Cannon.

He had first seen The Rolling Stones performing in Texas in 1964 and their paths crossed again within several years when he ended up playing with the them. He played on a number of albums, including Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street. 

He had last appeared with the The Stones in their 14 on Fire tour, although he was forced to miss dates in October due to ill health.

Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards also paid tribute to his friend. He said: “I have lost the largest pal in the world and I can’t express the sense of sadness I feel.”

See Bobby Keys playing with The Rolling Stones in a performance of Brown Sugar.

View footage of Bobby Keys playing with The Rolling Stones in a performance of Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.

View an archive interview with Bobby Keys

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