“Just learned the sad news that my longtime friend and former fan artist, Colin Cameron passed away from cancer a few days ago,” writes Steve Stiles. “I heard about it in Facebook. Judging from the outpouring there, he had many, many friends in the music industry there, and seldom lacked for playing gigs.”
For most of his life Cameron was a highly successful LA studio musician:
[Colin’s] fluency as a player, bolstered by his [sight] reading ability, led to recording dates with Quincy Jones and Henry Mancini, and such movie soundtracks as “Every Which Way but Loose,” “Moonraker,” “Honky-Tonk Man,” “Smokey and the Bandit II,” “Phantom of the Paradise” and “The Muppet Movie.”
Artists with whom Cameron has played bass either on stage or on records range from Judy Collins to Cher. Cameron performed in an Emmy-winning TV comedy special with Lily Tomlin and recorded a country album with Tina Turner in the early 1970s.
Before Hollywood beckoned, Cameron was an active fan. Stiles met him when they were in the army together:
Colin was an active west coast fan artist in the 1960s and I always liked his cartoon style. We met, by a miraculous coincidence, at Ft. Eustis Virginia, in 1966, when we wound up stationed in the same barracks; another GI spotted me doing a cartoon on my bunk and told me that there was “another guy on the second floor who does stuff just like that.” What are the odds?
The chain of coincidences didn’t stop there, said Stiles in “Habakkuk Remembered” —
Not only that, but Colin had also received the first issue of the new multi-colored HABAKKUK. The material and Bill’s “Meanderings” –Donaho’s reportage of doings in Barea fandom– were just as fascinating, but that run has a special significance to me as Colin and I were fannishly ignited by the zine and flooded the next two issues with our fan art and articles on life in the army. (Unfortunately, in the third issue, Colin’s article was about life in Vietnam, having been nabbed in another MP raid with some more of our friends.
After taking a mortar shell fragment in the leg while he was at Cam Ranh Bay, Colin was eventually discharged and went on to play bass in John Hartford’s and Paul Williams’ bands, and was blown up good on the big screen as one of the Juicy Fruits in Phantom of the Paradise .