John Renbourn dead: Pentangle founder and folk icon dies of 'suspected heart attack'

Dave Smith, his manager, said that Renbourn was “a huge character”

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The Independent Online

John Renbourn has passed away at the age of 70.

The folk guitarist credited with starting one of the genre’s most famous bands, Pentangle, is thought to have died at his home in Hawick in the Scottish borders after suffering a suspected heart attack.

Dave Smith, his manager, said that Renbourn was “a huge character”.

“He was always playing and teaching. That is what he loved doing and he never stopped.”

Radio DJ Cerys Matthews, who recently interviewed Renbourn on Radio 6 Music, was among those to pay tribute to the iconic musician.

“So sorry and sad to hear of John Renbourn's passing,” she said. “A loving, lovely man. RIP John, it was an honour and pleasure meeting you.”

“My family all played something... there’s a picture of me when I was about five playing on the banjo, so I went through all kids of stuff, all sorts of music,” Renbourn told Matthews of his upbringing in a musical home.


“It was just in the early 60s that I was faced with the terrible dilemma of having to get a job, and finding myself preferring to travel and play.”

Author Ian Rankin tweeted:

The original members of pentangle reunited in 2007 to collect a Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Renbourn is survived by his two sons and a daughter.