Early David Bowie collaborator John “Hutch” Hutchinson dies “after a long illness”

John Hutchinson, right, with David Bowie and The Buzz in 1966; Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Guitarist John “Hutch” Hutchinson, who collaborated frequently with David Bowie during the late rock legend’s early music career, died Saturday, according to a post on Bowie’s official website.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of John Hutchinson who passed in hospital yesterday after a long illness,” reads the message, which was posted Sunday.

Hutchinson was played in three of Bowie’s bands, starting in 1966 when David hired him to play guitar his backing group, The Buzz. Then, in 1968, Hutch and Bowie teamed up with David’s then-girlfriend, vocalist Hermione Fatheringale, in the short-lived acoustic trio Feathers.

In 1968 and early ’69, Bowie recorded a series of demos with Hutchinson that included the first version of David’s classic song “Space Oddity.” These recordings were officially released in 2019 as part of a series of special box sets.

In 1973, Hutchinson served as a touring member of Bowie’s backing band The Spiders from Mars during what turned out to be that group’s farewell trek.

According to Hutchinson’s official website, he continued to play music in various projects after Bowie broke of The Spiders, but “spent much of his time since 1980 ‘working for a living’ in the oil industry.”

In 2014, Hutchinson published a memoir focusing on his experiences with Bowie called Bowie & Hutch.

A 2019 video interview with Hutchinson in which he reminisces about recording “Space Oddity” with Bowie and shares other recollections about collaborating with him has been posted on David’s official YouTube channel.

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