Pentangle's Bert Jansch dies, aged 67

Leading figure in 1960s British folk revival and founding member of Pentangle, dies of cancer

Read our full obituary

Bert Jansch, a leading figure in the British folk revival of the 60s and one of the most respected musicians of his generation, has died of cancer aged 67.

A founding member of Pentangle, Jansch was also renowned as a guitar virtuoso and was sometimes hailed as a British Bob Dylan.

Neil Young said: "With deep regret Pegi and I acknowledge the passing of Bert Jansch. Pegi and I were lucky to play with him on all of our shows for the last couple of years. He is a hero of mine, one of my greatest influences. Bert was one of the all-time great acoustic guitarists and singer songwriters. Our sincerest sympathies to his soul mate Loren. We love you Bert."

Born in Glasgow on 3 November 1943, Jansch released 23 solo albums, the last of which, The Black Swan (2006), featured collaborations with Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart.

He was the recipient of two lifetime achievement prizes at the BBC Folk awards – one for his solo achievements in 2001 and the other, in 2007, as a member of Pentangle. The band reformed in 2008.

In June 2009, he discovered he had a golf ball-size tumour on one of his lungs following what was at first a routine visit to the dentist. Following treatment, he went on to co-headline a US tour with Young. Jansch had recently been forced to cancel a live show in Edinburgh due to ill health and was living in a hospice in north London at the time of his death.

Those he influenced included Jimmy Page, Nick Drake, Graham Coxon, Donovan, Bernard Butler and Paul Simon. According to fellow guitarist Johnny Marr: "He completely reinvented guitar playing and set a standard that is still unequalled today … without Bert Jansch, rock music as it developed in the 60s and 70s would have been very different."

Jansch told this newspaper last year: "I'm not one for showing off. But I guess my guitar-playing sticks out."

Contributor

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Bert Jansch obituary

Innovative, influential guitarist and founder member of the groundbreaking folk band Pentangle

Derek Schofield

05, Oct, 2011 @11:48 AM

Bert Jansch: a modest man with an immodest talent

He was the poster boy of the 60s folk-guitar scene whose virtuosity influenced everybody from Jimmy Page to Johnny Marr. Pete Paphides pays tribute to Bert Jansch

Pete Paphides

06, Oct, 2011 @3:00 PM

Folk review: Bert Jansch, Jazz Cafe, London

Jazz Cafe, London
Like all the best veterans, Jansch has survived because he sounds as distinctive as ever, says Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

09, Jun, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
Sleeve Notes: Remembering Bert Jansch

Guardian Music readers pay tribute to Bert Jansch, the folk-guitar pioneer who died this week

Adam Boult

07, Oct, 2011 @12:20 PM

Article image
Readers' reviews: tributes to Bert Jansch, and can documentaries change the world?
The best of your comments on the latest films and music

Michael Hann

13, Oct, 2011 @9:30 PM

Article image
CD: Bert Jansch, The Black Swan

(Sanctuary)

Robin Denselow

15, Sep, 2006 @1:18 PM

Bert Jansch: folk's forgotten hero

The freak-folk brigade worships Paul Simon's old friend. Quite right - a reappraisal is certainly due

Alan McGee

20, Mar, 2008 @11:30 AM

Bert Jansch/Beth Orton/Bernard Butler, Somerset House, London

Somerset House, London

Ian Gittins

18, Jul, 2007 @11:48 PM

Article image
A Celebration of Bert Jansch – review
London's Festival Hall dresses down as a humble folk club to honour the enduring legacy of Pentangle's founder, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

08, Dec, 2013 @12:07 AM

Live folk review

Review: Folk: Bert Jansch and Beth Orton Spitz , London 3/5

Robin Denselow

03, Oct, 2006 @2:09 PM