​Primal Scream’s Martin Duffy died in “financial strain” following part with band, son claims

today09/06/2023 14

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The son of late keyboardist and former Primal Scream member Martin Duffy has spoken out on his father’s relationship with the band, and the financial hardship he faced before he passed.

Duffy passed away on December 18, 2022, at the age of 55. He suffered a brain injury following a fall at his home in Brighton.

An inquest into the musician’s death heard earlier this week that Duffy was intoxicated at the time of his fall, and suffered an alcohol dependency at the time of his death.

A coroner said that Duffy, who performed alongside Primal Scream for three decades, was “advised by some members [of Primal Scream] to take some time off and seek help for his alcohol dependency”.

The family of Duffy suggested that he died in financial hardship after parting ways with Primal Scream. His son, Louie, said that Duffy was left out of a £5 million deal to sell part of the band’s back catalogue.

A written statement from the inquest (via The Argus) reads: “Dad had played on every Primal Scream album – had songwriting on at least two – but still the band chose not to offer him the opportunity to get his share, at a time they knew he really needed financial help.”

Louie added that the band gave little financial or emotional support to his father, who was “not consulted” about the deal to sell the band’s back catalogue. He explained that Duffy had to sign on to benefits in light of such financial strain.

“I remember dad telling Bobby Gillespie on the phone that he was having to sign on for benefits to get by as he had no savings but the band offered no support either emotional or financial.”

Duffy was also diagnosed with prostate cancer during lockdown, the inquest heard, and suffered an alcohol addiction that “forced him off tour”, according to Louie, who said his father wasn’t able to return to the band until he was better.

“After being forced off the tour, I literally saw dad age ten years in a matter of weeks. He was simply not able to cope any more,” Louie said (via The Argus).

“I am well aware that financial reward may not have saved Dad from himself – we will never know,” he added.

“But I do know that while the band were reaping the rewards from touring ‘Screamadelica’ a classic British album, he was having to live month to month – just being paid session fees to perform it – when in fact he had played such an important part in creating it.”

[Via The Argus]

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

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Written by: Tim Hopkins

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