Last weekend, the world lost a guitarist’s guitarist, as legendary jazz-fusion musician Allan Holdsworth died at the age of 70. He was an inimitable, innovative, jaw-dropping talent who was revered by such guitar wizards as Eddie Van Halen, Pat Metheny, Tom Morello, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Vernon Reid for his mesmerizing legato licks, altered scalework, boundary-busting harmonic language, and dense, chromatic chord formations.
Holdsworth, who was born in England, played with Soft Machine, The New Tony Williams Lifetime, Pierre Moerlen’s Gong, UK, Jean-Luc Ponty and Bill Bruford, while releasing a dozen solo albums.
While the tributes to the fallen guitarist poured in on social media, family friend Greg Beaton created a GoFundMe page on Sunday, seeking to raise $20,000 to cover the costs of his funeral for his children, Emily, Louise, and Sam. Not only was that goal met quickly, within three days, but the family opted to end the campaign, which had raised almost $115,000 by that point.
“The past few days have felt like a lifetime of a never-ending nightmare,” wrote the family. “It’s hard to put into words the emotions and gratitude that we feel. Without all of the love and support we have received, we would be completely lost. We are doing our best to fulfill the wishes of our beloved father. We will be holding a private ceremony to celebrate the life of our dad, and we cannot thank you enough for allowing us to do that.... I know he’s looking down at us and he can rest easy knowing the huge stress that has been lifted from our shoulders. Thank you for all the kind words, memories, and donations.We have decided, as a family, to close the GoFundMe campaign. It has more than exceeded its purpose. We cannot express our gratitude to you all enough, it has been overwhelming.”
The Holdsworth family says that in lieu of additional donations, fans can consider donating to a local pitbull rescue in Holdsworth’s name as “he was most fond of the breed.” A public memorial also is being planned.