Renowned Bassist and Engineer Del Palmer, Key Figure in Kate Bush’s Career, Passes Away at 71
via Speed News TV / YouTube
Del Palmer, the accomplished bass player and engineer, known for his significant contributions to Kate Bush’s illustrious career, has passed away at the age of 71, as confirmed by a post on the Kate Bush News website.
“We are heartbroken to tell you that Del Palmer passed away at home, yesterday, Friday January 5th, surrounded by his family,” reads the post. “Del had dealt with health issues over the last few years and the announcement came today on social media from his niece, Debbii Louise Palmer on behalf of Del’s family.”
Palmer, born in Greenwich in south London in 1952, embarked on his music career in the late 1960s
He joined bands like Cobwebs and Strange, Tame and Company (later Conkers), and eventually the KT Bush Band, formed for Kate Bush by her brother Paddy. Their performances, blending covers of popular songs with Bush’s original material, marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.
“I knew I had to be involved,” Palmer shared in a 2018 interview. “She was going to be huge – that was obvious to me when she was 17 and still a very raw artist.”
Bush’s debut album featured established session musicians, but Palmer, romantically involved with the singer, contributed to the follow-up, Lionheart, and all subsequent albums except the reworked Director’s Cut. He played a crucial role as a bassist on Bush’s only tour, the 1979 Tour Of Life, and also handled percussion, drum programming, and engineering duties on several albums, including Hounds of Love, The Sensual World, The Red Shoes, and Aerial.
“My relationship with Del is very stable,” Bush stated in a 1989 interview. “We work together, we live together. It works so well for us. That can be a very intense set-up, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all very close and direct.”
Despite their separation, Bush and Palmer continued to collaborate professionally.
Palmer also appeared in Bush’s visual projects, such as portraying Harry Houdini on the cover of the 1982 album The Dreaming and playing a getaway driver in the video for There Goes a Tenner.
In addition to his work with Bush, Palmer released three solo albums: Leap of Faith (2007), Gift (2010), and Point of Safe Return (2015). In 2018, he embarked on a tour with members of the Kate Bush tribute act Cloudbusting, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Bush’s debut album.