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12th Mar 2024

Mike Scott pays tribute as The Waterboys guitarist Karl Wallinger dies, aged 66

Charlie Herbert

Karl Wallinger

‘Track well, my friend’

Karl Wallinger, best known for being a member of The Waterboys and playing on their hit song The Whole of the Moon, has died aged 66. Mike Scott, the band’s lead singer, is among those paying tribute to Wallinger.

The Welsh-born musician and songwriter, who also fronted solo project World Party, passed away on Sunday. He played keyboard and guitar on a number of The Waterboys’ early songs. A cause of death has not yet been announced.

In a tribute to Wallinger, Waterboys frontman Mike Scott described him as one of the “finest musicians I’ve ever known.” He wrote:

“Travel on well my old friend. You are one of the finest musicians I’ve ever known.”

Karl Wallinger previously worked with Bob Geldof and Sinéad O’Connor

The instrumentalist joined the Waterboys in 1983 and played a variety of instruments on their second and third albums, the BBC reports.

This included playing on the bands huge hit single, The Whole of the Moon, which became one of the biggest songs of the 80s.

After leaving the band in 1985, Karl Wallinger released music as World Party from 1986 to 2000. During this time he also worked on Sinéad O’Connor‘s 1987 debut album.

Karl Wallinger had left The Waterboys before their critically-acclaimed fourth album, Fisherman’s Blues but did contribute to the song World Party (which he then called his new band). He wrote ‘Put The Message In The Box’ with – a song that was later covered by Brian Kennedy.

Wallinger also wrote She’s the One, which became a number one single when Robbie Williams covered it in 1999.

In a post on social media, Wallinger’s daughter, Nancy Zamit, described him as a “musical juggernaut”.

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