Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit has died, aged 78

He played on all 12 of the Krautrock band's incredibly influential albums.

Jaki Liebezeit, a founding member of seminal German band Can, has died at the age of 78.

A post on Can’s Facebook page confirmed that Liebezeit, the band’s drummer, died yesterday morning (January 22) “from sudden pneumonia”.

“He fell asleep peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones. We will miss him hugely,” the post added.


Liebezeit played on all 12 of the Krautrock band’s studio albums, which were released between 1969 and 1989, and hailed as an influence by artists including David Bowie, Joy Division, The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays and Talking Heads.

Liebezeit’s metronomome-like drumming technique was so skilled that his bandmates famously referred to him as “half man, half machine”.

He later became a member of the group Phantomband and played on albums by Brian Eno and Depeche Mode. Liebezeit had been due to celebrate Can’s 50th anniversary at a series of tribute concerts in London in April, where he was planning to perform with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Can’s original vocalist Michael Mooney.

Jah Wobble, with whom Liebezeit collaborated frequently, wrote on Twitter that he was “absolutely gutted” to hear of his passing, calling him the “best European drummer”.


Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos has also paid tribute to Liebezeit on Twitter.

Read more: NME’s Ultimate Krautrock Playlist

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