Jet Black has died at the age of 84. The Stranglers drummer, who played on hits like the Peaches, has died peacefully at home, the band says.

Stranglers drummer Jet Black has died after “several years of illness” at the age of 84.

The musician, whose real name was Brian John Duffy, was a founding member of the band and played on their hits, including the Peaches.



Jet Black (far right) was a founding member of The Stranglers.1 credit
In recent years, the drummer has suffered from health problems.


In recent years, the drummer has suffered from health problems.Credit: John Anderson
Jet Black's playing style helped shape the band's unique sound.


Jet Black’s playing style helped shape the band’s unique sound.Credit: Getty – Contributor

He lived at his country home in North Wales close to his friends and family as his health problems became increasingly debilitating.

A statement about the band reads: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our dear friend, colleague and senior statesman of the band, Jet Black.

“Jet died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Farewell, fly straight.”

The Stranglers formed in Guildford in 1974 and the drummer’s playing style has helped them achieve their unique sound, with 23 singles and 19 albums reaching the top 40 on the official UK charts.

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The Stranglers’ favorite tracks include Peaches, No More Heroes and Golden Brown, which earned the group an Ivor Novello award, and their 1978 third album 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 many years of ill health, Jet was finally released. He was a force of nature. Inspiration.

“There would be no str*anglers if it weren’t for him. The most erudite of people. A rebel with many causes.”


Original Stranglers guitarist and vocalist Hugh Cornwall paid tribute to his friend.

“It is with great sadness that I learned that Jet Black has passed away,” he said.

“We had a special period in our lives when we aspired to become professional musicians.

“We were immediately drawn to each other, he had a special sense of purpose that I identified with.

“He gave up everything in his past life to devote himself to our common goal. The Stranglers’ success was based on his determination and drive.


“His timing was impeccable. All power to him and his legacy.”

Baz Warne, who was guitarist after Cornwall left in 1990, said: “I loved Jet. He took me under his wing more than two decades ago and I never got out from under him. I am very sad that he left.

“He wasn’t very well for a while, but when I spoke to him as recently as three weeks ago, he was laughing and wanted to hear all the news, still interested and involved.

“It was an honor to know him and work with him, to call him a friend and I will miss him for the rest of my days. Rest in peace big man.”

Seal Willcox, the band’s manager, said: “He was the reactive force that launched The Stranglers.


“He was a reactive force that fueled the band’s determination to be heard and seen. Jet Black was the real deal.

“Sharp in business, a talented drummer and an obsessive perfectionist. These are just some of the talents of the man I have been privileged to have as my mentor and my dear friend.

“I will cherish the time we planned, acted out, ate, drank and laughed for so many great nights together.”

In addition to music, Black is remembered for a number of other talents, including writing, business, furniture making, and culinary skills.

Before joining the band, Black was a successful businessman who owned a fleet of ice cream vans that were later used to tour the UK.

He also owned the license, the upstairs apartment of which was used as the “Stranglers headquarters” in the band’s early days.

During his varied career, he has written two books documenting the infamous arrest of the Stranglers in 1980 in Nice, France after allegedly inciting riots.

He will also be remembered for his craftsmanship in custom-made furniture and the development of a patented bass drum pedal.

Black retired from performing live with The Stranglers in 2015, having suffered from respiratory problems since childhood.

The statement said that despite the difficulty of performing towards the end of his career, his charismatic charm resonated with fans who endlessly chanted his name as he took his place at the drums.

His d*ath comes two years after The Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield passed away at the age of 71 after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Greenfield, originally from Brighton, died on the evening of 3 May 2020 and contracted the virus after a long hospital stay due to heart problems.

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A longtime member of the influential punk band, Greenfield was known for his distinctive sound and playing style, using instruments such as the harpsichord and Hammond electric organ.

Black leaves his wife Ava and two children Charlotte and Anthony.

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