Williams Chris Willman-Senior Chicago city Downtown county Russell record band musician jazz Music Bill Williams Chris Willman-Senior Chicago city Downtown county Russell

Mars Williams, Sax Player for Psychedelic Furs and Waitresses, Dies at 68

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Chris Willman Senior Music Writer and Chief Music Critic Mars Williams, a saxophone player known for his work as a member of the Waitresses and later the Psychedelic Furs, died Monday at age 68.

His hometown newspaper the Chicago Tribune first confirmed Williams’ passing and reported that the cause of death was ampullary cancer.

Williams was diagnosed with the rare cancer a year ago. Williams’ sax was a key element of the Waitresses during the group’s short but impactful two-album tenure in 1980-83, heard on the signature songs “Christmas Wrapping,” “Square Pegs” and “I Know What Boys Like” as well as saxophone-heavy deep cuts like the title track of their “Bruiseology” LP.

The Waitresses’ split roughly coincided with Williams being asked by the Psychedelic Furs asking him to sit in for their absent resident sax man on an overseas tour in 1983, which turned into a tenure that extended through 1989.

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