Colin Cameron Passes Away

“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 [1974].


7 thoughts on “Colin Cameron Passes Away

  1. As a fan, he was an excellent artist, and it’s a shame that he didn’t pursue this aspect of the arts.

  2. Some months ago Colin mentioned that he had been under treatment for exposure to Agent Orange, an extremely poisonous substance shamefully used in Vietnam. I haven’t had the heart to check on this, but I wonder if this was what had done him in.

  3. THANK YOU for a great article on my late father. Wonderful insight! Not many know about his segway from cartooning to music, toughest choice he ever made, but boy did he ROCK it. Many thanks!

  4. THE VA stepped up, acknowleged his AO diagonis, and did everything they could. He had a WONDERFUL life, battling yes, but his later years were filled with love, family, and GREAT MUSIC. I can assure you, he passed a happy guy. BASS YOUR LIFE ON CHRIST.

  5. Colin and I worked together in Righteous Brother Bill Medley’s band. He helped me with my first original song demos. We worked in the House Band at Medley’s. I had no idea of his life before me at that time. Thank God for Facebook where we reconnected several years ago and I learned about his amazing life. RIP Colin. We loved you x

  6. I was a recording engineer and producer in the 70’s and 80’s and have a plethora of great memories of working with Colin in my recording studio, and hanging out with him and a menagerie of other “Hollywood misfits” at scores (if not HUNDREDS) of wild and crazy “poker nights” at my West Hollywood home during those daze! I miss…and will continue to miss….Coling for all days and forward to seeing him perform again one day in what I am sure is one helluva band in Rock and Roll Heaven!

  7. Someone has promised to send me some originals of Colin’s cartoons. When I get them, I’ll scan them in and post them on my Facebook page and Colin’s.

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