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Hugh Hopper

Hugh Hopper was best known as the electric bassist for Soft Machine during the band's most creative and critically acclaimed period, but his musical career extended far beyond his time spent with that particular group. He arguably manifested the Canterbury scene's progressive spirit -- at least on the instrumental side of the equation -- longer than any other musician, from the late '60s through to nearly the end of the new millennium's first decade, a period spanning over 40 years, although he took a break from music for a brief stretch. Hopper was also the indisputable king of the fuzz bass, introducing the instrument's sustained burning tones into early Soft Machine's sonic palette and laying the groundwork for other bassists' fuzzed and buzzed excursions across subsequent decades on both sides of the Atlantic.