MICHAEL KAROLI     29.4.1948 - 17.11.2001




Rainer Csallner
Niederuzwil, Schweiz
What a great loss. I would like to say "THANK YOU" to you, Miki, and to god,for the time we spent together. I was so proud to know you and I can´t believe, that you are gone now. I pray for you and for your family, especialy for Shirley, Tamara,Angie,Conny and the rest of CAN. You have been the most intelligent man I ever met.You and your work will always be remembered. Thank you! Good night my hero.
Stephen Collins
Chicago, ILL-State, USA
I had the pleasure of toruing with CAN in March of 1999 as part of the CAN solo projects tour (thanks to Mark Spybey and Thomas Ziegler). What an amazing first European tour. Although Michael had just had brain surgery mere weeks before, he was in rare form and always ready to go. The shows were tight yet relaxed. I remember vividly in Berlin having asked Michael about Damo coming out to the show, and he just grinned at me as if he knew without a doubt. the lights dimmed, the music started, but no Damo. I walked to the front of the venue and sin walks Damo. He b-lines to the stage, hops up, grabs a waiting mic and jumped into the amazing free form vocals he is known for. Michael never skipped a beat.

We all knew that every day from that tour on, he was on borrowed time. It was an honor to work with such great people on that tour. Thanks Michael, Mark, Holger, Jaki, Irmin, Arthur, Thomas. etal.

janos bosnjak
mansfield, england
I have just received the sad news of Michael, I am deeply shocked. Please accept my deepest sympathy, Janos
london, united kingdom
god's own band has one great member more. a talented musician has left us. i will blow the dust from recordings and play can to remember him. wildbrush
Hämeenlinna, Finland
karvaiset_orjuuttajat@yahoo.com , members.surfeu.fi/karvaiset_orjuuttajat
My friend just called me and told me that Michael Karoli is dead. I´d like to express my deepest expression of sympathy. RIP.
Tokyo, Japan
decco@d1.dion.ne.jp , www.h3.dion.ne.jp/~mandog
Mr.Michael Karoli,Forever!
Thank you very much!!

Luc Pilmeyer Liège / Luttich, B info@pilmeyer.be , www.pilmeyer.be Rest in Peace, Miki, You leave us a wonderful harvest of Magical Music and Good Vibes. All guitar lovers are a little bit orphan now.
egg harbor township, USA
RIP Michael Karoli...his unique sounds made him one of the greatest, most underrated (in my opinion) guitarists of all time...Long Live Can
Keiichi Usami
Osaka, Japan
My first and only experience of Michael's gig was in 1997 with Damo's Network in Osaka, 17years later since my first experience of Can's music. It was a fantastic allnight event and his guitar sound was still extraoridinary.And just same day of he passed away, I listened his "DELUGE"album before this sad news. How I miss you.My condolences and vielen Dank!!Michael.
David Cotner
Los Angeles, United States
I made sure that thousands of people would know his name in the coming weeks, because that's the way it should be.

Words cannot say...

Anyone remembering Ingeborg Schobers quotation in German "SOUNDS" magazine in a CAN record review: "Michael Karoli will never become a good rock guitarist"? Haha, make no mistake! Flying high with you, master of strings, and may your chords be heard often. My condolences to everyone involved in CAN> over the moon, and into the sun ...
Ami Hassinen
Thanks to Michael for being one of the truly great, expressive guitar players. I was impressed by your work as a part of CAN and elsewhere...and still am. Condolences to all who knew him...
Washington, DC, USA
As evidenced from the numerous CAn has influenced many of different age groups and walks of life from many parts of the globe. It can be said with great certainty that CAN stands in league with bands like the Velvet Underground who were far ahead of their time and whose influence continues to grow and reverberate with time. I wasn't even alive and was far too young to ever see CAN play back in the 70s but through the influence of bands like Sonic Youth I became aware of CAN. In my mind CAN exists in a league of their own and continues to be a source of inspiration and their music continues to challenge and provoke me.

It's with great sadness that I hear the news of Michael Karoli's passing. May his spirit and legacy live on through the music and continue to influence more generations to come...

manchester, uk
a sad loss
MUC, Germany
What a sad day, Michael gone forever.
Condolences to his family, and friends.

Rest in peace MICHAEL KAROLI and I hope you meet D.R.G. on your way.

Stas Irkutsk, RUSSIA
Michael Canning
Sheffield, England
I was saddened and shocked to hear of Michael's death yesterday -as are so are many people around the world.
My sympathies and heartfelt condolences extend to Michael's family and the extended Can clan.
He was in my opinion one of the most innovative guitarists ever. A massive influence on the independant musical cultures globally, as well my own musical endeavours since hearing Ege Bamyasi at an all night party in Auckland New Zealand in April 1985.

Michael's work with Can and elsewhere to me represented and manifested musically a very strong mystical and life affirming magic. It will resonate forever.

I met and filmed Jaki Leibezeit playing with Jah Wobble in Solaris in Leeds just a month ago and so to find out one of his original bandmates from the extraordinary Can is gone from this mortal coil is made extra poignant.

Goodbye Michael and thank you.

Benjamin Vasseur
Lille, France
Fan de la nouvelle géneration (depuis la sortie de sacrilège), j'ai découvert donc très recemment l'immense talent de Can. Je suis donc fortement ému par la disparition de Michael Karoli. Nous venons de perdre un très grand musicien, et sur une échelle personnelle l'espoir d'entendre à nouveau le son de sa guitare au sein de can. Affectueusement.
Mark Dezzani
Seborga Italy
The legendary pirate radio station Radio Caroline broadcasts a one hour tribute to Michael Karoli, Sunday 25th November at 23.00 GMT/UTC. The Global Trip is dedicated to music from Can's seminal 1971 album Tago Mago and artists that were influenced by Can such as Brian Eno, Soic Youth, Talking Heads and Public Image Ltd. The hours climaxes with the Ghost In The Machine mix of Kraftwerk's Trans Europe Express and the Can track Aumgn from Tago Mago, played simultaneously. They were made for each other. To listen to Radio Caroline on the Internet or find out how to tune in, go to www.carolinesouth.com
Thanks Michael for the inspiration and your genious.

Stephen Yarwood
Bedford UK
I'd never heard of Can until I saw them on TV in the early 70s, they blew me away. I raved about them at school the next day, but nobody else was turned on. Michael made the biggest impression, searing guitar lines, always exploring, always creative, he'll be sadly missed.
Peter Moser
Vancouver Canada
The good ones leave us far too soon...Michael will be missed. To have been a member of such a groundbreaking and influential band such as Can will be part of his legacy. the music lives on forever Michael, go jam with Jimi and the boys and make some heavenly noise !
Francisco Vaaquez
New York USA
Me and all my youth friends from Bogotá (Colombia) are very sad. We all send our condolences to Mike's family and his CAN mates. You have a big place in our collective memory...
Holly McAdams
Much sympathy to those who knew Michael.
Scott McFarland
Manassas, Virginia U.S.A.
My condolences on the passing of a great musician.  I've loved Michael and Can's music for so long that I do feel his absense in what is a personal way.  The endless soloing through Can's music and through the "Deluge" album will never stop though ... this is a man who, along with his friends, opened up the vocabulary of music.   Thanks, Michael.
jesse steichen
charlotte, usa
michael was one of the great guitarists of the rock era, but, opposite to what makes a guitar hero, he was totally unselfish, much more attuned to the whole rather than his own glory.  he resisted the pitfalls of playing the guitar, and that makes him a musical hero, not just a guitarists' hero.  it is very sad to hear of his death.  
Sara Lind
London, UK
I have only been a fan for a couple of years. When I started listening to Can I realised how many people they have influenced. Thanks for the music and the inspiration!
Vancouver, Canada
November 20th I just heard of MK's death: I am shocked and saddened. I think I will just go for walk in the rain listening to Can this afternoon. Regards.
Mark Spybey
London, England


It is with great sadness that I write about Michael's death on November the 17th. I first met Michael when I toured with Damo Suzuki's Network in the USA, in 1998. Two months later, I received a phone call from Michael asking me to be part of his band for 1999's Can anniversary shows. It was the musical highlight of my life. As a 16 year old Can fan in 1977, I saw them play live in my home town. Years later Michael and I talked about this, he remembered the gig. I think that it was impossible to work with Michael and not fall in love with him. He was a warm, fiercely loyal and generous man. I always stood stage left of Michael, often very close to him . He would constantly listen to the sounds that we all created and could and indeed, did, give an immediate critique of your performance after the show. To begin with this was a daunting prospect but after a while I began to feel more comfortable with it. This was musical university, without any academic frills or pomp. In the spring of 1999 I was lucky to spend a week at his house in France rehearsing. Michael was never far from his guitar or violin. He would walk around the house with a pignose amp strapped to his back, a belt crammed full of effects pedals, playing his guitar. The first time I heard him play guitar in my presence, I couldn't help but pinch myself and say, " that's Michael Karoli..." He had an unmistakable sound, a mastery of his craft although he would constantly say that he couldn't play that well.. I can only think of a dozen or so bands over the past 30 years who have earned the right to feel special because of what they have achieved and yet Michael, as a member of Can ( who thoroughly deserve the recognition they have received ) was ever humble.. Michael made music because he wanted to, because he loved making music and he never lost sight of the hardworking ideals that led Can to have such a revolutionary impact on contemporary music. He played down the importance of personalities and could talk el Michael will be sadly missed. My deepest sympathies are extended to his lovely wife Shirley and their beautiful daughters. I shall end with notes from a diary that I wrote after my visit to Michael's studio in March of 1999. We had just concluded a long rehearsal and Michael and I played together:

" a f i n a l m e m o r y"

on the last day of rehearsals at michael's studio in france, we worked late into the night. thomas hopf was sleeping in the studio's loft and he went to bed. michael was seated in front of me playing his cello. he was very, very tired. michael and i played together for over an hour. it was quiet, at times almost silent music. gentle scrapes and bows. crackles and whispers. i could see michael nodding off to sleep a few times but he held his cello bow firmly in his hand. his legs continued to move quietly, as if to the silence of the rhythm. it was some of the best, most intense music that i have been involved with. thomas later told me that he thought it quite beautiful. he said that we made music for him to sleep to. in those precious moments i felt profoundly moved. not simply at being able to be there. but almost as if i was part of something bigger than the sum total of the people that were present. a totally private moment. a perfect moment. i hoped that we had recorded this session but i suspect we didn't. right now, it really doesn't seem important. what is important, is that it happened." My sincere thanks and love to Thomas Ziegler, Damo Suzuki, Rainer Csallner, Sofortkontakt! and all of the extended Can family.

Mark Spybey.
London, England. November 19th 2001.

noah norton
Menomonie, WI USA
Heres to Michael Karoli, a true original and fantastic musician. THANKS FOR THE GREAT MUSIC MICHAEL.
Kevin MacNutt
Harrisonburg, Virginia USA
This was a great shock to me when someone was kind enough to e-mail me with this very sad news. No one else sounded quite like Karoli and after reading Holger's message on his board I had to go home and listen to Soon Over Babaluma and Future Days while lying down and just taking it all in. Another genius has found the limits mortality brings. He will be missed and those who have not know the music of Karoli and the rest of Can are truly deprived.
ben etc
Michael Karoli is one of the greats. Not trying to start a debate but I can't think of any other guitarist from the period when Can started out who dispensed w/ blues-based, standard-rock'n'roll licks to such an extent... and did something new instead.
And another testament to his being a great musician is how with Can, that's what you hear: CAN. Not so much individual parts played... but a *whole*. it's *all* integeral; it fuses together. From what I know -- or at least my impression is -- for a young rock guitarist to have fit in so well w/ the older, avant-gardener/mad scientists and nomad vocalists that comprised the rest of Can suggests what Can fans and his friends will already know: Michael Karoli is one of the greats. May his spirit live on. His music will

Mick Miller
Aberdeen, Scotland
Very sad indeed to hear of Michael's death. I have been listening to Can since the Monster Movie days and believe that they were one of the few experimental influences that managed to genuinely influence the way that music, in any context or form, was heard and played. Michael contributed much to this and will be sorely missed by all who value those who 'push the envelope' that little bit further......in peace.
Matti Salminen
Kotka, Finland
How sad news... Michael Karoli was one of my first guitar heroes ond one of the few that still remain. Unique source of inspiration. I hear him play...

stephan szulzewsky
berlin, germany
i only know CAN since last year (from the Jesus and Mary Chains cover version of MUSHROOM) and there are one of my favourite bands now. i hope the rest of the band and michael karolis family is well. respect!
Morten Vågen
Oslo, Norway
I would just like to say I am terrible shocked to hear about Michael`s sudden death. I`d like to say thank you to Can and to Michael for many years of wonderful wonderful music - and to express my condolences and my love to his family and to all the other members of Can. I am playing "Landed" as I write this... He is one who played like a god, and will be sadly missed.

Morten V.

Chris Herbert
Birmingham, England
Deeply saddened at the passing of Miki, Can meant (and still mean) the world to me - they were one of those rare encounters that totally shift the way you feel about and respond to music, the closest I ever came to having heroes..goodbye spidery chip-chop man.
Erwin Dejasse
Liège, Belgium
De la découverte de "Tago Mago" voici sept ou huit ans demeure le souvenir d'une véritable jouissance orgasmique. Etudiant à l'époque, j'étais en pleine période d'examen. Un indigeste cours d'égyptologie m'obligeait à veiller jusqu'au bout de la nuit. La radio me maintenait éveillé. Un programmateur inspiré a eu l'étrange idée de passer "Oh Yeah!". Ce que j'ai entendu ce soir-là ne ressemblait à rien de connu : une ligne de guitare hypnotisante couvrait les hurlements d'un chien jaune en état de démence. Le lendemain, je me précipitais chez le disquaire pour retrouver cette mélopée entêtante qui m'avait d'avantage captivéé les statues stéléphores de Karnak.

Pour la petite histoire, je me suis lamentablement planté à mon examen d'égyptologie. Pourtant ce que j'ai découvert ce soir-là valait bien toutes les secondes sessions du monde. Pour cet examen raté et tant d'autres choses (ah! le vol plané d'une moumoute sur la vidéo du "Can Box")... vielen Dank Michael!

Edin Z
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
I grew up with Can. Now I know my youth will never back. Thank you Michael.
Damon Anderson
Melbourne, Australia
Very sad to hear of Michael's death. His musical spirit was inspirational and uplifting and will always echo through my life. May he ascend to mother sky and rest there in peace ...
Morten Vågen
Oslo, Norway
I just like to say that I am shocked to hear that Michael has died so suddenly. Over the last ten years the music of Can has meant very very much to me, and feel very sad to hear that Michael has died. My love, my thought and my prayers goes out to his familiy and to the others members of Can. He was truly one of a kind, a guitarist extraordinare. - Thank you for the music.

Love from Norway
Morten V.

dave h
nottingham, england
the tragic news hasn't really sunk in yet - r.i.p.
Steve Dinsdale
A lifetime of groovy playing to be enjoyed forever. Condolences to those who were still making music with him, and to his nearest and dearest. Myself and fellow Can-Nut Duncan got the chance to meet Michael when our friend Mark Spybey was playing London with Sofortkontakt, an experience we will treasure forever.
London, england
a great loss, a true visionary, a wonderful man he will be sorely missed miki i will always think of you and laugh when i eat fried chicken, thank you! good night sir
zali krishna
london, england
a sad loss. condolences to the band and his friends and family.
Wagner, Heiko
Gehaus, Deutschland
Schade, aber die Musik wird weiterleben.
Henri Minard
Bordeaux, France
This is a very sad news, hard to believe. I saw them a couple of times on stage and I remember the kick in the head that Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi was. Condolences to the Can guys. Sincerely.
Catania, Sicily, Italy
Many thanks Michael.
Henry Baker
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I am far too young to have ever seen Can play live, but their music has been very important to me since I first discovered DELAY 1968 five years ago.  I was always thrilled to hear that all the members were still involved in music in the present day.  It took me awhile to substantiate the rumor of Karoli's death, but sadly I was directed here.  To say that I could not palpably feel the influence of Can whenever I play would be specious.  My condolences.
Hank Baker

Mark Tschoepe
Dallas, Texas, USA
I wish to send my condolences. Michael's excellent style will be missed. Am playing Tago Mago as I type this..Thanks for the music!
Phil Burford
London, England
Hi big Can fan since 1971-managed to see them a number of times during the classic period.Shocked and upset to hear of the sudden death of Michael Karoli-best wishes

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