Darryl Hunt, Longtime Bassist in the Pogues, Dead at 72: 'We Are Saddened Beyond Words'

·3 min read
Darryl Hunt of The Pogues performs on stage at O2 Academy
Darryl Hunt of The Pogues performs on stage at O2 Academy

Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns Darryl Hunt of The Pogues

Darryl Hunt, known as the longtime bassist in English folk-rock band the Pogues, died Monday. He was 72.

The band — which also featured Shane MacGowan, Spider Stacy, Jem Finer, Andrew Ranken, James Fearnley, Terry Woods, Cait O'Riordan, Philip Chevron, Joe Strummer, Dave Coulter, James McNally and Jamie Clarke — announced Hunt's death in a post shared to Instagram on Tuesday.

"We are saddened beyond words. Our Darryl passed away yesterday afternoon in London," read the post's caption, shared alongside a black and white photo of Hunt holding a guitar case.

"Darryl Gatwick Hunt 04/05/1950 - 08/08/2022," the band continued before quoting "Love You 'Till the End," a track Hunt — who also played percussion and sang in the group — wrote on the Pogues 1996 album Pogue Mahone. "'I know you want to hear me catch my breath [/] I love you till the end.'"

MacGowan, 64, posted his own tribute to Hunt on social media. "I am very very sorry that Darryl has passed on, he was a really nice guy and a great friend and a great bass player," he wrote alongside a photo of Hunt. "We will all miss him. May he have a happy state of eternal bliss and bless his family and friends love."

Born in Christchurch, Hampshire, on May 4, 1950, Hunt earned an education in Fine Art at the Nottingham Trent University School of Art, per his bio on the Pogues' website. He performed in bands including Plummet Airlines, The Favorites, Pride of the Cross — which featured O'Riordan. After she left to focus on the Pogues, Pride of the Cross became The Troubleshooters.

With Hunt in need of money, he joined his friends in the Pogues as a sound tech, driver, tour manager and instrument handler before filling in for O'Riordan on bass. Once she left the band to perform with then-flame Elvis Costello in 1986, Hunt joined the Pogues full-time.

Hunt played with the group until its initial disbandment in 1996, and in that time, the Pogues released six albums: Red Roses for Me, Rum Sodomy & the Lash, If I Should Fall from Grace with God, Peace and Love, Hell's Ditch, Waiting for Herb and Pogue Mahone.

The Pogues earned many hits in the UK and Ireland, but the band's 1987 single "Fairytale of New York" featuring Kirsty MacColl and 1989 single "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah" became worldwide smashes.

"Love You 'Till the End" later gained popularity after it was heavily featured in 2007's P.S. I Love You, a romantic comedy starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler.

Thanks to the "Christmas Eve" lyrical reference in "Fairytale of New York," the single earned annual fanfare in the UK. In 2020, however, BBC Radio 1 announced the original version will no longer be played on the popular radio station due to its use of derogatory and sexist language. Instead, an edited version will receive airplay on BBC Radio 1, while the company's other channels retained the ability to choose which version to play.

Aside from his work with the Pogues, Hunt deejayed in underground UK and European clubs starting in the '90s and later established regular nights at London's Turnmills club and a residency at Munich, Germany's Ultraschell club.

He participated in the Pogues' reunion from 2001 through the band's second breakup in 2014, during which they released several live albums and greatest hits compilations.

Hunt's cause of death is currently unknown.