John “Hutch” Hutchinson, who collaborated with David Bowie for three separate stints in the ’60s and ’70s, died after a long illness, Bowie’s estate confirmed.

The guitarist appeared on the first demo of “Space Oddity" in 1969 and later became part of the Aladdin Sane tour, playing 12-string guitar across the U.S. in 1973.

Quoting Hutchinson’s website, a tweet from Bowie’s account said: “Ours thoughts are with the family and friends of John Hutchinson who passed in hospital yesterday after a long illness. John was described as ‘a semi-retired and little-known jazz guitarist and a veteran of three important David Bowie bands for seven years between 1966 and 1973.’”

In his 2014 memoir Bowie and Hutch, the musician said he quit Bowie’s organization twice and been fired once, saying the results were very similar. He added that they remained friends “at a distance."

"We do at least stay in touch by means of an email now and then," he explained. "I do have to remember not to pester David, mind you, as we are many years and miles apart now, and there are constraints that lifestyle and fame impose upon old friends of stars like David Bowie.”

Hutchinson was a well-known member of several bands in Sweden and England while Bowie was still using his birth name Jones. He retired from professional music in 1980 to work in the oil industry, but he led a number of jazz groups over the years and proudly noted that his daughter Hayley and son Jesse were both “highly regarded performers” themselves.