Stranglers drummer Jet Black has died after “years of poor health” at the age of 84, his rep has confirmed.
The musician, whose real name was Brian John Duffy, lived in his country home in North Wales close to friends and family as his health problems grew more debilitating.
A statement from his representative confirmed that he passed away “peacefully” on Tuesday, December 6.
Black was a founding member of The Stranglers, who formed in Guildford in 1974, and his playing style helped them achieve their unique sound – reaching 23 top 40 singles and 19 top 40 albums, according to the official UK charts.
Their hits include Peaches, No More Heroes and Golden Brown, which won the band an Ivor Novello award, while their third album, 1978’s Black And White, is still considered the first post-punk album.
The band’s bassist, Jean-Jacques Burnel, said: “The welcoming committee has doubled. After years of poor health, Jet was finally released. He was a force of nature. An inspiration. The Stranglers wouldn’t have been without him. The wisest of men. A rebel with multiple causes.
Baz Warne, guitarist of The Stranglers, said: “I loved Jet. He took me under his wing over two decades ago and I never really got out of it. I’m so sad he’s gone.
Sil Willcox, the band’s manager, said: “It was the Jet force that started The Stranglers. He was the Jet force that fueled the band’s determination to be heard and noticed.
Prior to joining the band, Black was a successful businessman who owned a fleet of ice cream vans, which were later used to tour the UK, and he owned an off-licence, whose flat in the floor also served as the headquarters of the Stranglers at the start of The Band.
During his varied career, he wrote two books which documented the infamous 1980 arrest of the Stranglers in Nice, France, after allegedly inciting a riot, and is also remembered for his skill in making custom furniture. , designing a patented bass drum pedal.
Black retired from performing live with The Stranglers in 2015, having suffered from respiratory health issues since childhood.
His death comes two years after Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield died aged 71 after testing positive for coronavirus.
Black leaves behind his wife, Ava, and two children, Charlotte and Anthony.