Nick Beggs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Nick Beggs
Nick Beggs (playing guitar).JPG
Nick Beggs, 2010.
Background information
Birth nameNicholas Leighton Beggs
Born (1961-12-15) 15 December 1961 (age 57)
OriginWinslow, Buckinghamshire, England
GenresProgressive rock, art rock, hard rock, Celtic rock, new wave, pop rock, synthpop
Occupation(s)Sound engineer, songwriter, musician
InstrumentsBass, Chapman Stick, vocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active1978–present
Associated actsArt Nouveau, Ellis, Beggs, & Howard, Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett, Iona, Kajagoogoo, Rockets, The Mute Gods

Nicholas Beggs (born 15 December 1961[1]) is an English musician, noted for playing the bass guitar and the chapman stick; he is a member of The Mute Gods and Kajagoogoo, formerly also a part of Iona and Ellis, Beggs, & Howard and plays in the band of Steven Wilson.

Personal life[edit]

Beggs was born in Winslow, Buckinghamshire in 1961. His parents were Herby and Joan Beggs, and he has a younger sister, Jacqueline. His father left when he was young but came back into his life at a later age. In November 1979, Beggs' mother died of cancer, leaving him to care for his sister, who was then 15. He took a job as a dustman upon leaving school.

Beggs was a pescetarian for a while and currently is a vegetarian[2] due to his rejection of the livestock industry.[3]


Beggs' first band Johnny and the Martians (formed when he was 10) consisted of two friends on trumpet and acoustic guitar and Beggs on drums. He went to Linslade Secondary School. After attending art school, in 1978 Beggs formed the band Art Nouveau, with Steve Askew, Stuart Croxford Neale and Jez Strode. Chris Hamill (Limahl) joined the band in 1981 and at Beggs' suggestion it was renamed Kajagoogoo. The release of the first single, "Too Shy", in January 1983 saw the band on a promotional tour as the record reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart.[1]

After firing lead singer Limahl and, following a split with Strode, the three remaining band members reformed as 'Kaja'.[1]

Between 1985 and 1987, Beggs concentrated on writing with various other songwriters and finally formed Ellis, Beggs, & Howard in March 1987.[4] Ellis, Beggs and Howard split in 1989, and in 1990 Beggs joined the progressive folk band, Iona.[1] He recorded two albums with them, The Book of Kells and Beyond These Shores.

He continued working with various artists and bands including Gary Numan, Alphaville, Belinda Carlisle, Emma Bunton (on her album Life in Mono) and Led Zeppelin's former bass player, John Paul Jones.[5] In 1996, Beggs met Howard Jones on a flight from the United States and a friendship was established. Jones invited Beggs to tour as part of his band. Beggs has also worked with various bands and artists.

Beggs went on to work as an Artists and repertoire manager for Phonogram Records, where he worked for eight months. He later became a contributor to various guitar publications, and is now a staff writer for Bass Guitar magazine. He is also a Patron of London-based guitar and bass school, Guitar-X.

He has recorded and released two solo albums and an EP: *"Stick Insect" (2002) & *"The Maverick Helmsman" (2004) *Stick Enterprises, as well as *"The Darkness Inside Mens Hearts", 2014 Burning Shed: a compilation of the solo Chapman Stick pieces from his two earlier albums, with 2 newly recorded Chapman Stick-based songs that bookend the releases.

Beggs and Askew have been heavily involved with a new duo called Industrial Salt, who have been successful in Japan. They have also written material for Claudia Mills, a finalist on the BBC TV talent show, Let Me Entertain You.

A reformed Kajagoogoo with Beggs, Askew and Croxford Neale toured in 2004. Since then Limahl and Strode have both rejoined and the band has toured extensively over Europe in 2008 and 2009.[6]

In February 2013, Beggs's project, Lifesigns, with John Young and Frosty Beedle, released a self-titled album.

As of 2011, Beggs is a member of Steven Wilson's touring band,[7] having also played in Wilson's albums, Grace For Drowning, The Raven That Refused to Sing, Hand. Cannot. Erase., the EP 41/2 and To the Bone.

Beggs also became a member of the band Fish On Friday from Belgium, who released an album named Godspeed at the end of 2014, and contributed to John Mitchell's solo project Lonely Robot, which released the album Please Come Home in February 2015 as well as appearing on the Spectral Mornings EP.

Beggs's latest collaboration is called The Mute Gods,[8] with Marco Minneman and Roger King. Their first album was released in January 2016, entitled Do Nothing till You Hear from Me. This was followed-up with Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth in February 2017.

Nick Beggs, Berlin, 14 November 2008


Beggs' primary instruments are Chapman Stick and bass guitar.

He has also significantly modified a Chapman Stick to a fully MIDI-capable instrument triggering MIDI from both bass and melody strings. He has named this the "Virtual Stick".[9]


Ellis, Beggs and Howard[edit]


  • "Big Bubbles No Troubles" – RCA PB 42089 – June 88 – # 59 UK
  • "Bad Times" – RCA PB 42041 – August 88
  • "Where Did Tomorrow Go?" – RCA PB42317 – November 1988
  • "Big Bubbles No Troubles" remix – RCA PB 42089 – February 89 – # 41 UK
  • "Big Bubbles No Troubles" remix – RCA PB 42788 – April 1989


  • Homelands – RCA – 1988
  • The Lost Years Volume One – available from Nick Beggs website
  • The Lost Years Volume Two – again, available from Nick Beggs website as of February 2010


  • Lifesigns – Esoteric Antenna – 2013



  • "Stick Insect", 2002 CD Stick Enterprises
  • "The Maverick Helmsman", 2004 CD Stick Enterprises
  • "The Darkness Inside Mens Hearts", 2014 Burning Shed: a compilation of the solo Chapman Stick pieces from his two albums, "Stick Insect" (2002) and "The Maverick Helmsman" (2004) with 2 newly recorded songs bookending the release.

With other artists[edit]

With Steve Hackett

With Steven Wilson

With Lonely Robot (i.e. John Mitchell)

  • Please Come Home, 2015

With The Mute Gods


  1. ^ a b c d Larkin, Colin (1997) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0159-7, p. 270-271
  2. ^ Yücel, Ilker (12 January 2016). "The Mute Gods InterView: Embrace the Things that Frighten". ReGen. Retrieved 13 November 2016. ...since doing that interview, I have become a complete vegetarian; I don’t even eat fish now as I did then.
  3. ^ Lartigot, Gilles (April 9, 2013). "Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson) : interview dé(s)tressée avec le Heavy Metal Cook" (in French). Radio Metal.
  4. ^ Burnett, Bryan (1998) "Nick's Knack for Finding Success", Evening Times, 7 December 1988, p. 17, retrieved 2 July 2011
  5. ^ Christman, Ed (1999) "Zeppelin's Jones Makes Solo Return", Billboard, 14 August 1999, p. 12, 15, retrieved 2 July 2011
  6. ^ "Kajagoogoo announce British tour", BBC, 14 May 2009, retrieved 2 July 2011
  7. ^ "Steven Wilson ‘Grace for Drowning’ 2011 Official Dates!", 8 July 2011, retrieved 22 September 2011
  8. ^ "The Mute Gods - Band". The Mute Gods. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  9. ^ "Nick Beggs: Prog & Proud". Retrieved 2016-03-12.

External links[edit]