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Blues Gang bassist Madasamy dies

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PETALING JAYA — The local music scene lost one of its best bass players, Jim Madasamy, who passed away yesterday morning from heart failure.

It was learnt the founding member of the legendary Blues Gang collapsed as he was about to go cycling. He was 68.

Blues Gang drummer Shaik Karim, who co-founded the band with Madasamy, was at a loss for words.

“We have so many good memories together. We grew up together in Kampung Pasir, Johor Baru,” he said.

“We started from scratch until people knew us and we became recording artists. I’m very, very sad.” Blues Gang held a fundraiser last November for Madasamy, who suffered from primary progressive aphasia, a neurological syndrome that impairs language ability.

Karim recalled how Madasamy was struggling with memory loss as he battled the illness and seemed to have forgotten how to play a lot of chords to songs.

“We had so many good years together until the end of his life. Good and bad, sadness and happiness. I’m at a loss for words. He was like a brother to me,” he said.

Blues Gang lead singer Ito Mohd told Malay Mail he was deeply saddened by the loss of his friend of 30 years.

“I’ve lost one of my best friends. I’ve known him since 1978,” Ito said, speaking from his home in Melaka.

“There are so many memories, we played so many gigs together. I remember one time we went to Australia but Jim had to go back because of a visa issue that made him quite mad.”

Ito last met Madasamy at the “Jam for Jim Blues Gang ― The True Blues Man” fundraiser event five months ago.

“He took time to recognise me last year. We had stayed together for a long time previously. When he didn’t recognise me at first, I knew it was because of the sickness,” he said.