Dave Greenfield, whose keyboard playing help give The Stranglers their unique sound amid the squall of late-’70s U.K. punk, died on Sunday night of complications from the COVID-19 respiratory disease, the band announced. He was 71.
Greenfield played keyboards and sang with The Stranglers for much of the last 45 years, having joined in 1975. He co-wrote the group’s biggest hit, 1981’s “Golden Brown,” and was still recording and touring with the band prior to his death.
“Following a stay in hospital for heart problems, Dave tested positive for the COVID-19 virus last Sunday but he sadly lost his battle last night,” the band wrote in a Facebook post Monday. “Dave was a lovable, friendly and eccentric character who always had time to chat.”
Greenfield’s longtime bandmates also shared their loss:
“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 Pam.” — JJ Burnel
“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.” — Jet Black
“We lost a true innovator, musical legend, and one of my dearest friends today. The word genius is bandied around far too easily in this day and age, but Dave Greenfield certainly was one. 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 worshiped at his altar, he’ll never be equaled.” – Baz Warne
On Twitter, former Stranglers singer/guitarist Hugh Cornwell memorialized his former bandmate, writing, “I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Greenfield. 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.’ ”
Greenfield is survived by his wife Pam.
Below, some of the music Greenfield made, and other rememberances.
I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Greenfield. 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. (1 of 2)
— Hugh Cornwell (@HughCornwell) May 4, 2020
Long live The Stranglers.
— Black Francis (@MrBlackFrancis) May 4, 2020
today we honor the music and life of dave greenfield. he was a brilliant songwriter and performer, and we thank him and the @StranglersSite for their inspiration, contribution, songs and attitude.
— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) May 5, 2020
While showing me round the pub he owned Dave Greenfield was in the process of hiding his menagerie of pet rats owing to the food hygiene inspectors coming to check the place over later that day.. “give me a hand Cap or the bastards will close me down”. RIP Dave. pic.twitter.com/lGDigfqXES
— Captain Sensible (@sensiblecaptain) May 4, 2020
RIP Dave Greenfield, can’t believe this. pic.twitter.com/SBNIpDthFZ
— Echo & the Bunnymen (@Bunnymen) May 4, 2020
Goodbye Dave Greenfield. Your sound has been a huge influence on our band and in my life too x x
My thoughts are with Dave’s family and loved ones pic.twitter.com/jnWUarA990
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) May 4, 2020
As i’ve said countless times over the last 30 years, without The Stranglers & Dave Greenfield, @inspiralsband wouldn’t have sounded quite the same. We’ve just lost one of the greatest. What a wonderful body of work he’s left for us xxx #RIPDaveGreenfield @StranglersSite
— Clint Boon (@therealboon) May 4, 2020
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- The Stranglers reissuing ‘The Old Testament’ box set with added disc of rarities
- The Stranglers set U.S. release for ‘Giants,’ plus North American tour — stream new track
- The Godfathers announce new album ‘Jukebox Fury,’ U.K. tour with The Stranglers
- Stream: The Stranglers, ‘Time Was Once On My Side’ — off forthcoming album ‘Giants’
- Ex-Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwell touring U.S., South America, U.K. this spring