It’s with great sadness that I must report on the passing of Renaissance’s own Michael Dunford who died Tuesday after suffering a massive Instantaneous Cerebral Hemorrage at his home. According to reports, the legendary guitarist/composer had just returned home from touring with Renaissance when this happened. He was rushed to the hospital but never regained consciousness and the doctors said there was nothing that could be done. He passed on surrounded by his loved ones.
Dunford joined Renaissance in the early 70’s and was a part of the group’s second, but most influential lineup. He joined as guitarist and composer and thanks to his creativity the band climbed to Progressive Rock heights. Together with Annie Haslam (the bands siren of a singer), the world enjoyed classics such as “Prologue”, “Turn Of The Cards”, “Scheherazade and Other Stories” and many more. I don’t have to tell lifelong fans of this kind of music about how amazing it was but for you younger generation of Progressive Rock followers these are must haves for the collection.
While I realize that it broadcasts my vintage, I first heard Renaissance as some of the music that my parents listened to and I loved it. It was very different to my musical ear and while I would eventually start to follow the Metal path with bands like Sabbath, Priest and KISS; the Progressive meets Classical style that Renaissance delivered was forever imprinted within my musical psyche. I never saw the classic lineup when it was touring but I would be fortunate enough to catch them on the 2009 40th Anniversary Tour. It blew me away and it was at that show that I decided that whenever possible to do so, I would be sure to attend a regional performance. This past October, my friend and I caught the band doing “Novella” and other songs at the Ethical Culture center and excitement was high about recordings that were in progress. At this point I do not know what will happen, but I only hope that they do choose to continue in his memory after some healing has happened.
On behalf of the PiercingMetal site and blog, I send the deepest condolences and sincerest of sympathies to Michael’s family, friends, band mates and worldwide collection of fans. Thank you for the music and the performances that you gave us good sir. Your memory will live on forever in your melodies. May you Rest in Peace.
Learn more about Michael’s work with Renaissance HERE