Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Mars Williams, The Psychedelic Furs & The Waitresses Saxophonist, Dies at 68

Mars Williams, The Psychedelic Furs & The Waitresses Saxophonist, Dies at 68

Mars Williams, who is best known as the saxophonist for the group The Psychedelic Furs & The Waitresses, has reportedly passed away. He was 68 years old.

According to a GoFundMe campaign set up by Williams’ family, the saxophonist had been battling the rare ampullary cancer for a year. His loved one revealed the unfortunate news in a recent update. 

“It’s with great sadness that we send this message to let the many people who loved and supported Mars Williams know that he passed away earlier today after his year-long struggle with cancer.”

It was further revealed that Williams was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his passing. “Until the end, Mars’ inexhaustible humor and energy, and his love for music, pushed him forward,” the update continued.

Mars Williams’ loved ones then said that it became clear that his treatment options were coming to an end in the late 2023 summer. “He chose to spend six weeks of the time he had left living as he had since he was a teenager — out on the road performing night after night.”

The update noted that WIlliams’ final performances with the Psychedelic Furs will live on with all of the other contributions the musician achieved. 

Williams’ loved ones went on to add they are working on celebration of life plans. “[They will be] fitting for someone who was a hero to so many. We’ll send out information about that when possible.”

Mars Williams Recorded With Billy Idol, The Killers, and More Over the Years 

Billboard reports that Mars Williams studied jazz at DePaul University before he made his way to New York City. He started playing with The Psychedelic Furs and The Waitresses not long after. During his time with The Waitresses, he performed the hit track I Know What Boys Like. He was with that group from 1980 to 1983.

Along with The Psychedelic Furs and The Waitresses, Williams teamed up with various artists over the years. This includes Billy Idol, Power Station, Billy Squier, and The Killers. 

Following the news about Williams’ death, The Psychedelic Furs took to Instagram to pay tribute to their former bandmate. “We’re heartbroken 💔” the bandmates declared. “Goodbye to the great Mars Williams. Rest well.”

Williams reflected on reuniting with his Furs bandmates during a 2009 interview with Penny Black Music. “I got back with the Furs in 2005. We were all older. We had been friends for so long. We put our resentments behind us. I love being back in the band. They didn’t have another horn after that. Richard Butler said, ‘Wow. This is what’s been missing.’ It’s a really good vibe. It’s a good bunch of guys. We’re having fun.”