The Stranglers drummer Jet Black has died

"He was a force of nature"

The Stranglers drummer Jet Black has died, aged 84.

The sticksman, who was born Brian Duffy, was a founding member of the Guildford band and performed with them until 2015. He announced his retirement a few years later due to ill health.

He passed away at his home on Tuesday (December 6) at his country home in Wales. He leaves behind his wife Ava, and his two children Charlotte and Anthony.


Announcing his death on Twitter, the band said: “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.”

Bassist and co-frontman JJ Burnel added: “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. Say hi to [late keyboard player] Dave [Greenfield] for me.”

Baz Warne, the band’s guitarist and co-frontman also expressed his sadness.

He said: “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.”

Former frontman Hugh Cornwall who left the band in 1990, also posted a statement on Twitter.


He wrote: “It is with great sadness I have learnt that Jet Black has passed away. We shared a special period of our lives when we strived to become professional musicians. The Stranglers success was founded on his determination and drive. His timing was faultless. All power to him and his legacy.”

When The Stranglers formed in west Surrey in 1974, Black owned a fleet of ice cream vans which the band used as a tour bus during one of their early tours. They also used his shop as their headquarters.

In 2007, the band announced that Black was suffering with heart issues and he took a step back from performing, being temporarily replaced by his drum technician.

He resumed his duties full-time for the band’s tours in 2010 and 2011, but the following year he was taken to hospital after falling ill just before he was due on stage in Oxford. He finally retired after he stopped performing in 2015.

Former Oasis guitarist Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs was one of the first musicians to pay tribute to Black.

Black’s death came over two years keyboardist Dave Greenfield died at the age of 71 after testing positive for COVID-19.

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