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American saxophonist Mars Williams, popularly known as a band member of The Psychedelic Furs and The Waitresses, died at the age of 68 on Monday, 20th November. The Chicago Tribune reported that Williams succumbed to periampullary cancer, a diagnosis he had received last year.
The Psychedelic Furs expressed their grief on social media, bidding farewell to the late musician: “We’re heartbroken. Goodbye to the great Mars Williams. Rest well,” they wrote on X.
New wave saxophonist Mars Williams dead at 68
Williams’ family also shared a statement on his death. “It’s with great sadness that we send this message to let the many people who loved and supported Mars Williams know that he passed away earlier today after his year-long struggle with cancer,” they wrote. “He was surrounded by family and friends, both in person and around the world, who held him close, and loved him dearly.”
Williams was a member of the American band The Waitresses from 1980 to 1983, and a member of British band The Psychedelic Furs from 1983 to 1989 and again from 2005 until his death. Williams was also a founding member of the American fusion band Liquid Soul and a core member of Hal Russell’s free jazz band NRG Ensemble.
Williams’ saxophone playing was a key element of The Waitresses’ sound during the group’s two-album tenure. He can be heard on their signature songs ‘Christmas Wrapping, ‘Square Pegs,’ and ‘I Know What Boys Like’. After The Waitresses disbanded, Williams was asked to join The Psychedelic Furs. He conducted his final tour dates with the band in October 2023.
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