The Stranglers drummer Jet Black, dead at 84
Jet Black (real name Brian John Duffy), a founding member and drummer for punk icons The Stranglers, died at his home in Wales on Tuesday, December 6 following "years of ill health." He was 84.
The news came via The Stranglers' social media accounts: "It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague Jet Black. Jet died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Fond adieu, fly straight JB."
Duffy was the oldest original member of The Stranglers, who were all farther along in age than most of the other first wave UK punk bands. They were also one of the most popular and longest-lasting, scoring 11 Top 20 UK hits in their first decade together. Jet Black's hard-hitting, precision style was one of the band's signatures, and he stayed in the group until failing health finally forced him to bow out in 2018.
Hugh Cornwell, the former Stranglers frontman who left the group in 1990, wrote, "We shared a special period of our lives when we strived to become professional musicians. We were immediately drawn to one another, he had a singular sense of purpose that I identified with. He threw everything in his previous life out, to dedicate himself to our common goal. Our birthdays were 2 days apart, so we were quite similar. The Stranglers success was founded on his determination and drive. His timing was faultless."
Ride easy, Jet. Watch him in action in a few classic Stranglers videos and read tributes from fellow drummers Clem Burke (Blondie), Jon Wurster (Superchunk) and more, below.
The Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield died in May 2020.