THE drummer of The Stranglers Jet Black has died aged 84 after “years of illness”.
The musician, whose real name was Brian John Duffy, was a founding member of the band and has played on their hits, including Peaches.
He had been living close to friends and family at his country home in North Wales as his health problems became increasingly debilitating.
The band said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our dear friend, colleague and band misery Statesman Jet Black.
“Jet died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Farewell, fly straight.”
The Stranglers formed in Guildford in 1974 and the drummer’s playing style gave them their unique sound – they have had 23 Top 40 singles and 19 Top 40 albums according to the official UK charts.
The Stranglers’ most popular tracks include Peaches, No More Heroes and Golden Brown – which earned the band an Ivor Novello Award – while their third album, 1978 Black And White, is still considered their first post-punk album.
The band’s bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel said: “The welcoming committee has doubled.
“After years of illness, Jet has finally been released. He was a force of nature. An inspiration.
“It wouldn’t have been the Stranglers if it wasn’t for him. The most learned of all men. A rebel with many causes.”
The Stranglers’ original guitarist and vocalist Hugh Cornwall paid tribute to his friend.
“It is with great sadness that I learned of Jet Black’s passing,” he said.
“We shared a special time in our lives when we aspired to be professional musicians.
“We were immediately drawn to each other, he had a unique sense of purpose that I identified with.
“He has thrown away everything in his life to devote himself to our common goal. The Stranglers’ success was based on his determination and drive.
“His timing was impeccable. All power to him and his legacy.”
Baz Warne, who was guitarist after Cornwall left in 1990, said: “I loved Jet. He took me under his wing over two decades ago, and I’ve never really come out of it. I’m so sad that he’s gone.
“He hasn’t been that good in a while but when I last spoke to him three weeks ago he was laughing and wanting to hear all the news, still interested and involved.
“It was an honor to have known and worked with him and to have called him a friend and I will miss him to the end of my days. Rest in peace big guy.”
Sil Willcox, the band’s manager, said: “He was the Jet Force that started The Stranglers.
“He was the jet force that fueled the band’s determination to be heard and noticed. Jet Black was the real deal.
“Smart business, a talented drummer and an obsessive perfectionist. These are just a few of the talents of the man I had the privilege of having as my mentor and dear friend.
“I will cherish the times we planned, played pranks, ate, drank and laughed together on so many great nights.”
Besides music, Black is remembered for a range of other talents including writing, business, furniture making and culinary skills.
Before joining the band, Black was a successful businessman who owned a fleet of ice cream vans which he later used to tour the UK.
He also owned an off license whose upstairs apartment served as the band’s “Stranglers HQ” in the early days.
During his varied career, he wrote two books documenting the infamous 1980 arrest of the Stranglers in Nice, France, after they allegedly incited a riot.
He will also be remembered for his skills in crafting bespoke furniture and designing a patented bass drum pedal.
Black retired from performing live with The Stranglers in 2015 after suffering from respiratory illnesses since childhood.
Despite difficulties performing towards the end of his career, his charismatic charm resonated with fans, who endlessly chanted his name as he took his place on drums, a statement said.
His death comes two years after The Stranglers’ keyboardist Dave Greenfield died aged 71 after testing positive for coronavirus.
Greenfield, originally from Brighton, died on the evening of May 3, 2020, having contracted the virus after a prolonged hospitalization for heart problems.
A longtime member of the influential punk outfit, Greenfield was known for his distinctive sound and playing style, using instruments such as the harpsichord and electric Hammond organ.
Black is survived by his wife, Ava, and their two children, Charlotte and Anthony.
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/6872915/jet-black-dead-the-stranglers-drummer/ Jet Black dead at 84 – The Stranglers’ drummer, who played hits like Peaches, dies peacefully at home, according to the band