The day after announcing the death of his longtime bandmate, The Chameleons‘ frontman Mark Burgess wrote a long, heartfelt and quite honest reflection on John Lever, calling the late drummer “one of the warmest, funniest, most generous, huge-hearted men I’ve ever known.”
In a nearly 4,000-word post to his personal Facebook page, Burgess recounts his relationship with Lever, beginning with the drummer’s audition for The Chameleons, his early departure from the group and return, then the breakup of that band and formation of The Sun and the Moon, and, later, ChameleonsVox.
Burgess acknowledges Lever’s battles with alcohol, and the impact that had, in the end, on his tenure in ChameleonsVox. He also, though, acknowledges Lever was a vital musical foil:
“Without the power of those drums, those off beats and cymbal crashes at exactly the right places, I’d struggled to really enjoy it with other people. I’d played with some great drummers, but it just wasn’t right. Nothing that John did on the drums was ever accidental or perfunctory, he placed every beat, every crash meticulously.”
Burgess concludes on a touching note: “Stubborn yeah, crazy absolutely, but he was my friend and I loved him and knowing that he’s no longer out there being John hurts like a bastard.”
Read Burgess’ full remembrance below.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- John Lever, powerful drummer for The Chameleons, dies following short illness
- Mark Burgess records unfinished Chameleons songs for new EP, announces U.S. dates
- ChameleonsVox performing ‘Script of the Bridge’ on North American tour in 2015