Photo by Stan Lewis
Sara Romweber, the powerhouse drummer who held the beat in the first lineup of jangle-pop heroes Let’s Active and who went on to play in Snatches of Pink and, later, with her brother Dexter Romweber, has died of cancer, according to music journalist David Menconi. She was 55.
Menconi, the longtime music and arts reporter who recently left the News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh, N.C., tweeted the news this morning, writing, “Alas, she is another gone too soon — from cancer at age 55, preceded in death by her old Let’s Active bandmate Faye Hunter.”
According to an Instagram post by Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan — “she was so important to me that i wrote a paper about her my freshman year in college,” he wrote — Romweber died on Monday.
In 1981 at the age of 17, Romweber joined frontman/producer Mitch Easter and bassist Hunter in Let’s Active shortly before the group’s first performance, opening for R.E.M., for whom Easter would go on to produce the Chronic Town EP, Murmur and Reckoning.
Romweber would perform on Let’s Active’s debut EP — 1983’s Afoot, which included the classic “Every Word Means No” — and the band’s first full-length album, 1984’s Cypress, before leaving.
She’d go on to play in the Chapel Hill, N.C., band Snatches of Pink, and, in more recent years, in a duo formed with her brother, Flat Duo Jets’ Dexter Romweber.
Easter and Romweber reunited Let’s Active for a benefit in 2014, with Game Theory’s Suzi Ziegler filling in on bass for Hunter, who had died by suicide the year prior. It was the band’s first performance in 24 years.
In his tribute to Romweber on Twitter, Menconi wrote, “Sara did not seem like one to call attention to herself. But you just had to see her play once, and you’d never forget her.”
RIP Sara Romweber — one of the greats. pic.twitter.com/cZPAJS9veH
— David Menconi (@NCDavidMenconi) March 5, 2019
View this post on Instagram
Sara Romweber was one of the kindest, most unique & inspiring people i’ve known & she passed away yesterday. She was so important to me that i wrote a paper about her my freshman year in college. The Romweber home on Pine St in Carrboro was open to everyone & the heart of a musical community — you can see some of this in the episode of “IRS The Cutting Edge” if it’s on anywhere. A fantastically powerful and creative drummer — watching her play was a joy no matter what band — & I’ll be listening to these masterpieces this morning & thinking about Sara and her family. #RIP #sararomweber #letsactive
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Let’s Active reuniting for first performance in 24 years tonight at N.C. cancer benefit
- Faye Hunter, of Let’s Active, 1954-2013
Man this sucks. She was a really good drummer.
Heartbreaking. Let’s Active was the soundtrack to my college years. I really liked her work with Snatches of Pink too, which took her in a different direction. Really does suck. I’m 55 too.
I saw her in Memphis with her brother Dex several years ago, and got to say hi. I played Cypress to death when it came out. So sad.
I grew up listening to & seeing Let’s Active live in W-S, NC. Mitch is still a powerhouse with a relatively new (non-drive-in) studio and other musical adventures. He’s now lost BOTH of his original bandmates from suicide. WTF.
Neither was from suicide.
Tragically, Faye’s was suicide. Sara, cancer. Both sweet souls.
Sorry, I was still upset about Sara :'(
I had the extreme privilege of touring with Sara for a month. What a talent, what a loss. My sincerest condolences to her family, friends and fans. Rest In Power Sara.
So very sad. I still listen to Let’s Active constantly. I hope she understood how much joy those sessions brought into the world.
That hurts. I never got to see Sara with Let’s Active but I finally saw her with the Dexter Romweber Duo – yikes – seven years ago. She was a stone cold drummer and I treasure those recordings of her I have in my Record Cell with Let’s Active and Dexter Romweber Duo. I need to get those Snatches Of Pink records and see what I missed there. Dexter, my heart goes out to you, man!
I’m heartbroken. Let’s Active was one of my favorite bands in the ’80s, as was Snatches of Pink in the ’90s. Everyone should check out “Bent with Prey,” SOP’s masterpiece from 1992; I’ve always felt it’s one of those records that deserves to be rediscovered (or just plain discovered) and worshipped by millions. RIP Sara, you will so be missed.
I was heartbroken by her death. She was a fantastic drummer, but an even nicer person. I met her a few times back in the 90’s, and she was so much fun to talk with. One thing I haven’t seen in any article concerning her death was her work with the band Clarissa, which was Snatches of Pink with a new name. They put out two excellent records in the mid-nineties. Both are available for streaming. Well worth checking out. RIP Sara.
Despite my affection for jangle back in the day Let’s Active existed much more on the peripheral of my awareness in my 80’s college years.
But this is such sad news.
This is just godawful news. I hadn’t heard about this until tonight, 3/28, somehow. I think Dex and/or the Duo Jets were playing NYC a year or two ago and I didn’t get a chance to attend. Not sure if Sara was playing that show or not. Was always a Let’s Active fan from nearly day one, and saw them later at The Ritz NYC in 1986 downtown, which was a phenomenal show (not with Sara, alas). Anyway,
very sorry to hear of this. First thing I hit
on YTube tonight was Let’s Active live and read of this awful news.