Danny Kustow, Tom Robinson Band guitarist, has died

kustowTom Robinson has broken this sad news on his Facebook page.

I’m devastated to have to tell you that my dear friend and former guitarist Danny Kustow died in the Critical Care ward at Bath Royal United Hospital on Monday. He’d been in a coma on life support all weekend with double pneumonia and a liver infection. But when my wife and I visited him on Sunday morning he seemed peaceful and pain-free thanks to the very best state of the art NHS care. Everyone hoped he had a chance of pulling through – but shortly after midnight on Sunday he went into a decline and quickly slipped away in the small hours of Monday morning.

Danny was mentored by the blues legend and broadcaster Alexis Korner and joined the early Tom Robinson Band in December 1976. Danny’s unique, fiery guitar playing was at the very heart of the TRB sound, and during the 70s and he played on every record of mine that ever troubled the Top 40. After TRB Danny also played in Jimmy Norton’s Explosion with Glenn Matlock, and later formed the band Time UK with Rick Buckler of The Jam. He made a guest appearance with my current band at the 100 Club in November 2017 and can be heard on the live version of 2-4-6-8 Motorway.

Danny was widely loved and fondly remembered by many and I’ll be making a formal announcement about his passing on BBC 6 Music around 1.20pm this afternoon. There is to be a private family funeral tomorrow and plans are currently under discussion for a public memorial event and tribute concert in early June.

On behalf of everyone at LTW, our condolences to Danny’s family and friends.

Another from the New Wave generation gone too soon. 

Update:   Incredibly moving funeral oration by Tom is reproduced here on the bands Facebook page. Well worth a read.  RIP Danny.

GB for LTW
Danny onstage photo (photographer unknown – will be credited on request)

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10 comments on “Danny Kustow, Tom Robinson Band guitarist, has died”

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  1. Danny’s father Bernard Kustow, was our family GP.
    Through him, we got to know the family well. I even taught Danny to drive.
    We had been in regular contact, and I am just devastated by this tragic news.
    Rest easy my friend, rest easy.

  2. I was at junior school with Danny in Ealing.
    I just remember him as a beautiful and warm hearted school friend. Already a bit of a rebel but with a gorgeous winning smile.
    Later I followed his amazing career. What a talented man!
    I was sad to learn that he was quite troubled in the latter period of his life.
    So sorry to hear of his departure. My condolences and good wishes to his family and close friends. May the good memories be a blessing in the sadness.

  3. Could have been one of the greats. Never fulfilled his potential in my opinion.

  4. As a precocious early teenager in 1979 I convinced myself that all the great guitar players were in heavy metal bands …then I chanced upon a TRB show on T.V one night and was blown away by Danny Kustow’s playing…I remember the sound he got from that Les Paul with all the uncut strings spraying out from the headstock. He had a perfect mix of fire and control and that sound will be lodged in my mind until I flit this mortal coil… thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Adrian Matthews

    Very sad – remember seeing TRB at Southampton Gaumont in 1978 and being blown away by their performance – one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen and Danny was top draw – a real loss- gutted.

  6. Peter Anderson

    I love the music of the Tom Robinson Band… and I was born in 1986! This is very sad news. :(

  7. Mr Glenn Stuart Young

    I am So Sorry about Danny & my Heart cries for his Family Relative’s + Friends. I was a teenager in the late 70’s & Very much into Punk & the New wave & 2-4-6-8 Motorway still lives in my mind. I know that Danny & Tom Robinson still had Success after TRB broke up &, Danny’s guitaring was out of this World. Rip Danny & may the Love + Peace of God be with your family etc, from: ‘Glenn !

  8. I was inspired by Danny Kustow back in october 77 when first hearing 2 4 6 8 motorway. His guitar playin was the best id heard. I met him in may 1987 while playin in london with a band i was in. Never forget Danny Kustow. Thank you for showin us your soul in every note you played X

  9. Stephen Miles

    Very sad news. An incredibly talented and, I my opinion, underrated guitarist. He really brought something special to TRB.

  10. I’ve just learned Danny Kustow has died. I had the privilege of spending some time with Danny and was there at the start of TRB as their first roadie. I answered an add in a shop window of John Beeby’s Music Place in Crouch End and later met Tom at his place in Highgate. Of course I was eminently qualified. After all I was 17, interested in music, owned a leather jacket and more importantly had the use of my mum’s Hillman Minx MkV. Tom invited me that evening to see a bond called The American Housewives performing at the Stapleton Hall pub in Stroud Green. During their break Tom stepped up on stage with guitarist Anton Mauve and the Housewives drummer and thunderously performed “Up Against the Wall” and “Motorway”. I and everyone in that pub were blown away. Tom was the business I was instantly hooked, lined and sinker’d. This was it, this was the genesis of TRB. Danny came in when Tom was auditioning for a second guitarist at the Hope and Anchor, islington. There were a couple of guitarists around that time vying for second TRB guitarist. Tom already knew Danny who was ready and eager for the gig and not long after took over as The TRB guitarist when Up Against the Wall Power Chord Anton stepped away. Danny was a beautiful enigma, insecure, self conscious, gullible, gorgeous, sweet and loving. Its true Danny had his demons but on stage he was free of them, magnificent, electrifying, powerful, wild. The stage was Danny’s home, he could be the persona he aspired to be. His Les Paul was an extension of his soul, a counterpoint to Tom’s driving bass lines, he was the TRB’s edge, its punch, so unpredictable and so riveting to watch. Those early days will forever be imprinted and now part of my DNA. I remember driving with Tom and Danny in the Minx on our way to a gig circumnavigating Trafalgar Square, (you were allowed to do that then). Adjacent to us was Mickie Most in a posh Roller. Danny instantly became animated and feverishly excited, wound down the window virtually throwing himself out of the car shouting “Mickieeeeeeee” at the top of his voice. I could see Mr Most out of the corner of my eye looking somewhat aghast and bemused. I could write more as these memories are flooding back to me…I’m so, so grateful to have shared a little bit of time with you Danny. RIP my friend and I will be with you at The Scala on the 29th July.

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