BREAKING: Original drummer from iconic British new-wave band passes away aged 84

Two districts of Paris blacked out with 100,000 residents affected

Jet Black, the drummer with the iconic ’70s and ’80s new-wave band, The Stranglers, passed away at the age of 84.


As confirmed by his representative today, Thursday, December 8, Jet Black, the drummer with the iconic new-wave band, The Stranglers, passed away peacefully on Tuesday 6 at the age of 84. He had reportedly suffered several years of ill health. A statement on the band’s official website paid tribute to their late drummer. 

As a founding member in 1974 of the new-wave band, during a hugely successful career, Black played on 23 hit singles and 40 studio albums. His iconic playing style was often credited as lending the band its unique sound.

The Stranglers crashed into the UK charts with ‘Peaches’ reaching No8 in May 1977, with their previous record ‘(Get A) Grip (On Yourself) only going to No44. Chart success continued through into the 1980s as the band evolved out of the punk era with a new style.

Golden Brown was a huge hit in 1982, hitting No2 in the charts, and winning an Ivor Novello award. Their 1970s albums are widely acclaimed as punk classics, including ‘Rattus Norvegicus’, and ‘Black and White’, which is often credited as being the first post-punk album by any of the bands from that era. 

‘The welcoming committee has doubled. After years of ill health, Jet has finally been released. 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, said Jean-Jacques Burnel, the band’s legendary bass player.

Baz Warne, their current guitarist commented: ‘I loved Jet. He took me under his wing over two decades ago and I never really came out from under it. I’m so very sad he’s gone”.

‘He hadn’t been too well for a while, but when I spoke to him most recently, three weeks ago, he was laughing and wanting to hear all the news, still interested and involved. It’s been my privilege to have known and worked with him and to have called him a friend, and I’ll miss him until the end of my days. Rest in peace big man’, he added.

The band’s manager, Sil Willcox, paid tribute to Black: ‘He was the Jet force that launched The Stranglers. He was the Jet force that powered the band’s determination to get heard and get noticed. Jet Black was the real deal”.

‘Astute in business, a talented drummer and an obsessive perfectionist. These are only a few of the talents of the man whom I was privileged to have as my mentor and my dear friend. I will cherish the times we planned, pranked, ate, drank and laughed on so many great nights together’, he concluded.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]