Craig MacGregor, who joined Foghat as a bassist in 1975, has died at the age of 68. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015.
“On behalf of Craig MacGregor’s family and the Foghat family, it is with great sadness that we are letting you know that we have lost our brother, good friend, husband, father and bandmate this morning,” the band wrote on Facebook. “He passed peacefully in his wife Lisa MacGregor’s arms after a prolonged battle with cancer. Please respect the privacy of the family and band members at this time. We will be sharing information in the next day or so. Rest in Peace, Thunderfingers.”
Born on Sept. 13, 1949, MacGregor started playing piano whenÂ he wasÂ around 7Â years old, then moved on to trumpet and drums. “I stuck with that for about three years,” he onceÂ said, “but I wanted to be out front, so I took up the bass. It was the best of both worlds.”
After playing in Swan, a Connecticut band that toured nationally, he joined Foghat in 1975. He made his recorded debut with them a year later on Night Shift, which featured the Top 40 hit “Drivin’ Wheel.” But he left six years later following Girls to Chat & Boys to Bounce, andÂ returned for brief stints with the band in 1984 and 1986. He came back for good in 2005 and stayed withÂ Foghat for the rest of his life, including playing on their most recent studio album, 2016’s Under the Influence. But the effects of chemotherapy had made it impossible for him to tour since 2015.
TheÂ 10-millimeter tumor on his lungs was first discovered in 2012, when he went for a CAT scan after breaking his ribs in a fall. However, he was not told of its existence and it remained untreated until four years later, by which time it had grown 60 times larger, was inoperable and had spread to his brain.
In the last few years of his life,Â MacGregor became an advocate for legislation that requires doctors to give patients full access to all test results. It’s believed that, annually, 12 million Americans receive some form of diagnostic error, resulting in 251,000 deaths.
“Patients deserve access to their information, whether physicians like it or not,” he told Philly.com. “This is a perfectly reasonable policy solution to a problem that the medical community has been slow to solve.”