Ivan Král, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop collaborator, has died at 71

He was the co-writer of 'Dancing Barefoot'

Ivan Král, a guitarist and producer who has worked with Patti Smith, Blondie and Iggy Pop, has died. He was 71.

The Czech musician passed away on Sunday (February 2), as confirmed by David Gaydecka of the Metronome Festival in Prague, according to Reuters. “We worked together since 2016, but the grand finale, which we have prepared, never came,” Gaydecka said.

Král’s wife, Cindy Hudson, also confirmed his death in a press statement which was shared on Twitter by Greg Jarvis of The Flowers of Hell. Král had played bass on the band’s 2009 album ‘Come Hell Or High Water’. In the statement, Hudson revealed that Král died from cancer in his Michigan home. She also stated that the renowned songwriter’s latest Czech album, ‘Smile’, is scheduled for release on February 28.


Born in Czechoslovakia, Král started his music career in the early ’70s as a member of the short-lived band Luger. After the group split in 1973, he played backup for Shaun Cassidy and Blondie, before joining the Patti Smith Group as a bassist and guitarist. During his time with the latter band, he co-wrote a number of hits, including the iconic 1979 track ‘Dancing Barefoot’, which has since been covered by U2, Pearl Jam and more.

After parting ways with Smith in late 1979, Král worked on Iggy Pop’s 1980 album ‘Soldier’. He subsequently became the co-writer and guitarist for all original compositions on Pop’s follow-up record, ‘Party’. The full-length also featured the single ‘Bang Bang’, which was notably covered by the late David Bowie on his 1987 album ‘Never Let Me Down’.

Later in his career, Král co-wrote songs for former The Babys frontman John Waite before forming his own band, Eastern Bloc. He would eventually move back to Prague in 1993, where he served as a producer for local bands and released a slew of solo albums, the last being 2014’s ‘Always’.