Nick Beggs

Last updated

Nick Beggs
Nick Beggs (playing guitar).JPG
Nick Beggs, 2010.
Background information
Birth nameNicholas Beggs
Born (1961-12-15) 15 December 1961 (age 59)
Origin Winslow, Buckinghamshire, England
Genres Progressive rock, art rock, hard rock, Celtic rock, new wave, pop rock, synthpop
Occupation(s) Sound engineer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Bass, Chapman Stick, vocals, guitar, keyboards
Years active1978–present
Associated actsArt Nouveau, Ellis, Beggs, & Howard, Steven Wilson, Rick Wakeman, Steve Hackett, Kim Wilde, Belinda Carlisle, 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. He is known for modifying a Chapman Stick into a fully MIDI-capable instrument triggering MIDI from both bass and melody strings; he calls it the Virtual Stick. [2]


Early life

Beggs was born on 15 December 1961 in Winslow, Buckinghamshire. 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' 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] The band went on to have four more UK top 40 hits throughout 1983 and 1984.

After firing lead singer Limahl in 1983 and, following a split with Strode in 1985, the three remaining band members reformed as Kaja, [1] releasing the album Crazy People's Right to Speak and the single "Shouldn't Do That".

Between 1985 and 1987, Beggs concentrated on writing with various other songwriters and formed Ellis, Beggs, & Howard in March 1987. [3] 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. [4] In 1996, Beggs met Howard Jones on a flight from the United States, and Jones invited Beggs to tour as part of his band.[ citation needed ]

Beggs worked as a manager for Phonogram Records for eight months. He later became a contributor to various guitar publications, and he is 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 Stick Insect"(2002), The Maverick Helmsman (2004), and The Darkness Inside Mens Hearts.

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

A reformed Kajagoogoo with Beggs, Askew and Croxford Neale toured in 2004. Limahl and Strode both rejoined in 2008, and the band toured extensively. [5] The band released an EP of new material in 2011. In an interview with Cherry Red TV in 2018, Beggs talked about the reunion, stating "we reformed and we toured and we recorded an EP and remastered the back catalogue...and at that point I felt that we had done it all. It was a nice way to tie it up, put a bow on it and leave it alone and move on."[ citation needed ]

Since 2011, Beggs is a member of Steven Wilson's touring band, [6] having also played on Wilson's albums Grace For Drowning , The Raven That Refused to Sing , Hand. Cannot. Erase. , the EP 41/2 , To the Bone and The Future Bites .

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

Beggs also became a member of the band Fish on Friday, which 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.

Beggs's latest collaboration is named The Mute Gods, [7] with Marco Minneman and Roger King. Their first album was released in January 2016, titled 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 Nick Beggs bassist.jpg
Nick Beggs, Berlin, 14 November 2008

Personal life

From his first marriage to Eleni Gagoushi, which ended in 1994, he has one daughter named Lula who was born 29 May 1991. He has another daughter, Willow Beggs (b.2002) with his girlfriend Ann Staniford, whom he married in 2003. He is stepfather to his wife's three children, Olivia, Callum and Jake Keenan. Beggs currently lives in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

Beggs was a pescetarian for a while and currently is a vegetarian as of January 2016 [8] due to his rejection of the livestock industry. [9]


Ellis, Beggs and Howard


  • "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




  • 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)
  • Words Fail Me, 2019 CD Cherry Red Records

With other artists

With Steve Hackett

With Steven Wilson

With Lonely Robot (i.e. John Mitchell)

With The Mute Gods

With Trifecta

Related Research Articles

Kajagoogoo British new wave band

Kajagoogoo were a British new wave band, best known for their 1983 hit single "Too Shy", which reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart, and the Top 10 in numerous other countries.

Limahl English pop singer, songwriter

Christopher Hamill, better known by his stage name Limahl, is an English pop singer. He was the lead singer of the 1980s pop group Kajagoogoo, before embarking on a brief solo career, garnering the 1984 hit "The NeverEnding Story", the theme song for the film of the same name.

Tony Levin American musician

Anthony Frederick Levin is an American musician and composer, specializing in electric bass, Chapman Stick and upright bass. He also sings and plays synthesizer. Levin is best known for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel. He is also a member of Liquid Tension Experiment, Bruford Levin Upper Extremities (1998–2000) and HoBoLeMa (2008–2010). He has led his own band, Stick Men, since 2010.

Dave Bainbridge Musical artist

Dave Bainbridge is an English guitarist and keyboard player who has played with The Strawbs since 2015. With Dave Fitzgerald, Dave co-founded the Christian progressive and Celtic folk themed band Iona.

Lake is a German-British rock music group that formed in 1973 in Hamburg, Germany. In 1975, they were joined by lead singer James Hopkins-Harrison, who gave them their signature sound for the remainder of their recording career.

Marco Minnemann German musician

Marco Minnemann is a German drummer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based in San Diego, California.

<i>White Feathers</i> 1983 studio album by Kajagoogoo

White Feathers is the debut album by British new wave band Kajagoogoo, released on 18 April 1983 and the only album by the band to-date to feature lead vocalist Limahl. It was produced by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and Colin Thurston, who was Duran Duran's producer at the time, except for track #5, the self-titled "Kajagoogoo", an instrumental, which was produced by Tim Palmer and the band. This self-titled song was featured in the John Hughes movie Sixteen Candles as the film's opening title song in 1984. The album contains their most successful single "Too Shy", a UK Number One hit in February 1983, as well as two other UK Top Twenty hits; "Ooh to Be Ah" and "Hang on Now".

John Young (British musician) Musical artist

John Young is an English rock musician hailing from Liverpool. He is currently the keyboardist and singer for the progressive rock band Lifesigns.

<i>Islands</i> (Kajagoogoo album) 1984 studio album by Kajagoogoo/Kaja

Islands is the second album by the British pop band Kajagoogoo, released on 21 May 1984 on the EMI label. This was the band's first album without lead vocalist Limahl, who had been fired by the band in mid-1983 and went on to pursue a solo career. Bass player Nick Beggs, already the group's main backing singer, took over lead vocal duties, and also wrote the lyrics. The album was co-produced by the band themselves, now a four-piece group, along with Colin Thurston, who had also produced their debut, White Feathers. It is the final album to-date to feature founding drummer Jez Strode. The album also marked the first time Nick Beggs used the Chapman Stick on a recording.

<i>Crazy Peoples Right to Speak</i> 1985 studio album by Kaja

Crazy Peoples Right to Speak is the third album by the British new wave/pop rock band Kajagoogoo, released in 1985. For this release, the band had shortened its name to Kaja, a name the band used earlier for the U.S. release of their second album, Islands. By this time, the band was a three-piece as drummer Jez Strode had quit in 1984.

Big Apple (song) 1983 single by Kajagoogoo

"Big Apple" is a song written and performed by the British band Kajagoogoo. Released in September 1983, it was the first single to be taken from the band's second album Islands (1984), and their first song without lead singer Limahl, who had been fired from the band earlier that year. From this single onwards, lead vocals were performed by bassist Nick Beggs.

<i>Gone to the Moon</i> 2008 studio album by Kajagoogoo

Gone to the Moon is the fourth and final album by British new wave band Kajagoogoo. It was recorded in 2007 and early 2008 shortly before the original band was officially reunited. The tour for the album featured the entire original band. The album was downloadable on MP3 format for free until February 2009 and released shortly after on CD-R. The song "Tears" was featured on the compilation album This Is Not Retro – This Is the Eighties Up to Date.

<i>Love Is Blind</i> (Limahl album) 1992 studio album by Limahl

Love Is Blind is the third solo album by the English singer Limahl, released in 1992. The work was also released in other two German-speaking countries of central Europe, namely Austria and Switzerland.

<i>Dont Suppose</i> 1984 studio album by Limahl

Don't Suppose is the debut solo album by the English singer Limahl, released in 1984 by EMI Records.

This article is the discography of British pop band Kajagoogoo and includes all the studio albums, live albums, compilations, and singles, as well as the peak chart positions for the United Kingdom, Austria1, Germany, Netherlands1, New Zealand, Sweden1, Switzerland and United States.

<i>Catalogue / Preserve / Amass</i> 2012 live album by Steven Wilson

Catalogue / Preserve / Amass is a live album released in 2012 by British musician and record producer Steven Wilson, known for being the founder and frontman of psychedelic/progressive rock band Porcupine Tree.

<i>Get All You Deserve</i> 2012 video & live album by Steven Wilson

Get All You Deserve is the first live DVD and second live album by progressive rock musician Steven Wilson, released on 24 September 2012. It was filmed at a sold-out show in Mexico City, Mexico, during his Grace for Drowning tour. The deluxe edition of Get All You Deserve consists of two CDs, a DVD and a Blu-ray disc.

Lifesigns is an English progressive rock band. As of 2014, the band's members were John Young on keyboards & vocals, Jon Poole on bass & vocals, Martin "Frosty" Beedle on drums, percussion & vocals and formerly Niko Tsonev on guitars & vocals. Niko departed the band in August 2016. Dave Bainbridge, replaced Niko on guitar and also plays additional keyboards. In 2020, Frosty Beedle left, and was replaced by Zoltán Csörsz. Steve Rispin is the band's fifth member.

The Mute Gods

The Mute Gods are an English progressive rock supergroup uniting Nick Beggs, Marco Minnemann and Roger King. Beggs approached King—with whom he had worked as part of Steve Hackett's band—about a collaboration in 2014, and Minnemann was chosen as the drummer after Beggs had toured with him as part of Steven Wilson's band.

<i>Do Nothing till You Hear from Me</i> (album) 2016 studio album by The Mute Gods

Do Nothing till You Hear from Me is the first studio album by The Mute Gods, the band formed by Nick Beggs, Roger King and Marco Minnemann. The album was released on 22 January 2016 through InsideOut.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Larkin, Colin (1997) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music, Virgin Books, ISBN   0-7535-0159-7, p. 270-271
  2. "Nick Beggs: Prog & Proud". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. Burnett, Bryan (1998) "Nick's Knack for Finding Success", Evening Times , 7 December 1988, p. 17, retrieved 2 July 2011
  4. Christman, Ed (1999) "Zeppelin's Jones Makes Solo Return", Billboard , 14 August 1999, p. 12, 15, retrieved 2 July 2011
  5. "Kajagoogoo announce British tour", BBC, 14 May 2009, retrieved 2 July 2011
  6. "Steven Wilson ‘Grace for Drowning’ 2011 Official Dates!", 8 July 2011, retrieved 22 September 2011
  7. "The Mute Gods - Band". The Mute Gods. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  8. 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.
  9. Lartigot, Gilles (9 April 2013). "Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson) : interview dé(s)tressée avec le Heavy Metal Cook" (in French). Radio Metal.