Little is known about John Giblin’s early years, but he must have picked up a guitar at an early age, considering how he became one of those musicians that gave rock and roll a foundation for others to shine on.
He worked as an acoustic and electric bass player spanning jazz, classical, rock, folk, and avant-garde music. Best known as a studio musician, recording film scores and contemporary music, Giblin also performed live and recorded with Peter Gabriel, John Martyn, Elkie Brooks, Annie Lennox, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Phil Collins, Empire with Peter Banks, Fish, rock/pop band Simple Minds,and has been closely associated with artists ranging from Kate Bush, Jon Anderson (Yes), to jazz fusion group Brand X, and with the avant-garde recordings by Scott Walker (including the album Tilt).
Later in life, Giblin moved further into the direction of acoustic bass, with projects involving drummer Peter Erskine (of Weather Report), and pianist Alan Pasqua (of Tony Williams Lifetime).
To get a feel for John Giblin’s work with the top of the crop, check out his oeuvre on AllMusic
Following his death, Kate Bush released a statement, saying: ” I loved John so very much. He was one of my very dearest and closest friends for over forty years. We were always there for each other. He was very special. I loved working with him, not just because he was such an extraordinary musician but because he was always huge amounts of fun. We would often laugh so much that we had to just give in to it and sit and roar with laughter for a while. He loved to be pushed in a musical context, and it was really exciting to feel him cross that line and find incredibly gorgeous musical phrases that were only there for him. He would really sing. It was such a joy and an inspiration to see where he could take it. We’ve all lost a great man, an unmatchable musician and I’ve lost my very special friend. My world will never be the same again without him.”
Giblin died from sepsis on 14 May 2023, at the age of 71.