The Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield has died after contracting coronavirus

"He was the difference between The Stranglers and every other punk band"

The Stranglers‘ keyboardist Dave Greenfield has died at the age of 71 after testing positive for COVID-19.

Greenfield was known for his distinctive sound on his trademark Hammond electric organ, most notably on the band’s classic hit ‘Golden Brown’, which he wrote.

He passed away yesterday (May 3) contracting the virus, following a prolonged stay in hospital for heart problems.

Former frontman Hugh Cornwall took to Twitter to pay tribute to his former bandmate.

“I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Greenfield,” he wrote. “He was the difference between The Stranglers and every other punk band. His musical skill and gentle nature gave an interesting twist to the band.

“He should be remembered as the man who gave the world the music of ‘Golden Brown’. Hugh Cornwell 4/5/2020.”

Several members of the band also paid their respects to Greenfield on the band’s official website.

Bass player, Jean-Jacques Burnel wrote: “On the evening of Sunday May 3rd my great friend and longstanding colleague of 45 years, the musical genius that was Dave Greenfield, passed away as one of the victims of the Great Pandemic of 2020. All of us in the worldwide Stranglers’ family grieve and send our sincerest condolences to [his wife] Pam.”

Drummer, Jet Black added: “We have just lost a dear friend and music genius, and so has the whole world. Dave was a complete natural in music. Together, we toured the globe endlessly and it was clear he was adored by millions. A huge talent, a great loss, he is dearly missed.”

Vocalist and guitarist Baz Warne also paid his respects to “a true innovator, musical legend, and one of my dearest friends”. “The word genius is bandied around far too easily in this day and age, but Dave Greenfield certainly was one,” he wrote.

“We stood together on the same side of the stage for 20 years, laughed, joked and shared our lives in the way that only band mates can. I’ll miss him forever. Our thoughts and hearts are with his wife Pam, and to the millions of fans who worshipped at his altar, he’ll never be equalled.”

The band’s manager, Sil Willcox, added: “We are all in shock, Dave was a kind, generous soul who had time for anyone and everyone and it has been my privilege to have known him as both a close friend, his tech and manager for over 40 years. Our thoughts are with Pam at this sad time.”

A host of musicians also expressed their sadness upon hearing Greenfield’s death including The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, who wrote: “Goodbye Dave Greenfield. Your sound has been a huge influence on our band and in my life too. My thoughts are with Dave’s family and loved ones,” and Echo & The Bunnymen who added: “RIP Dave Greenfield, can’t believe this.”

Bonehead also paid his respects. “RIP Dave Greenfield, massive influence on me when I first started in bands playing keyboards,” he wrote.

Fellow peer Wilko Johnson also offered his condolences as did David Baddiel.

The Stranglers were formed in 1974 in Guildford. They recently postponed a farewell tour scheduled for this summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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