The Stranglers drummer Jet Black dead at 84

The Stranglers in 1988; Jet Black on far right; Mike Prior/Getty Images

Jet Black, drummer for the influential British punk/new wave band The Stranglers, has died. He was 84.

The band wrote on social media, “It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear friend, colleague and band elder statesman Jet Black. Jet died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Fond adieu, fly straight JB.”

In a longer statement on the band’s website, they reveal that founding member Black, born Brian Duffy, died “peacefully at his home on December 6.” He had retired from performing live with the band in 2015 due to respiratory health issues.

Referring to Stranglers keyboard player Dave Greenfield‘s death in 2020 from COVID, bass player and vocalist Jean-Jacques Burnel said, “The welcoming committee has doubled. After years of ill health Jet has finally been released.”

Burnel continued, “He was a force of nature. An inspiration. The Stranglers would not have been if it wasn’t for him. The most erudite of men. A rebel with many causes. Say hi to Dave for me.”

Black, a successful businessman who’d been a semi-professional drummer in the ’50s and ’60s, formed the band in 1974 after he decided to return to music. The Stranglers were identified with the punk rock movement because they toured with The Ramones and Patti Smith, but in actuality, they were older and much more musically adept than the other bands in the genre.

While they never had a U.S. hit, their songs “Peaches,” “No More Heroes,” “Something Better Change,” “Golden Brown,” “Skin Deep” and “Always the Sun” were hits in the United Kingdom and have been heavily used in commercials, TV shows and movies. “Golden Brown” was used in the Black Mirror episode “Metalhead” and in season 2 of The Umbrella Academy.

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