David Bob Picken, bass player for Bill Ryder-Jones, She Drew The Gun dies


Bob Picken with Neville Skelly at Festival for Bob

Popular bass player Bob Picken dies after battling long illness, Getintothis’ Peter Guy on ‘an inspirational’ figure.

Double bass player, David Bob Picken, a member of Liverpool band Ella Guru has died.

Bob provided backing for artists such as Neville Skelly, She Drew The Gun, Bill Ryder-Jones and Marvin Powell.

Diagnosed in 2012 with an anaplastic astrocytoma – which he affectionately calls “Bieber” in reference to the Canadian singer Justin – Bob managed to overcome a number of setbacks to carry on with his career, and in his own words “stick two fingers up to cancer”.

Tributes were led on social media by Skeleton Key Records, who said: “A big part of the Skeleton Key family David Bob Picken sadly passed away late last night after a long illness. His strength of character, fighting spirit and humour shone through always. An inspiration to all who knew this superbly talented and gifted musician our friend Bob.

A festival at Camp and Furnace was organised for Bob in 2013 with the likes of Bill Ryder-Jones, Space, Edgar Jones, Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds, and The Vyrll Society (then Dirty Rivers) playing.

Speaking back in 2016, Bob on learning of his illness, said: “I was overwhelmed with feelings of shock. You go through five stages of cancer: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and eventually acceptance.

As acceptance kicked in, my friends rallied around, as I’d had to stop working due to the radiotherapy. In June 2012, they came together and held a charity evening for me at the Coda Maine bar in Hoylake. Everyone I loved and cared about was there: Martin Moseley, Neville Skelly, The Sand Band, The Sundowners, and James Skelly, amongst others.”

All of the Getintothis team sends Bob’s friends, family and loved ones our best wishes and love. Rest in peace.