The sad news of the passing of Dave Greenfield has just reached us, he of The Stranglers, he of those keyboards, has there been a more distinctive keyboard player, that staccato stabbing, those runs. It would appear he has died, at the age of 7w, as a result of this dreadful Corona virus whilst in hospital with another condition, and yes he did revolutionise keyboard playing and his keyboard runs were a massive massive part of the classic band’s sound. no keyboard player ever quite led a band’s sound like Dave Greenfield’s keyboards did, that piece of music just down says it all, sad newd indeed, R.I.P Dave Greenfield “oh what a bummer”
According to re report on the BBC new website, “Greenfield died on Sunday having contracted the virus after a prolonged stay in hospital for heart problems”.
“The Stranglers bass player Jean-Jacques “JJ” Burnel paid tribute to Greenfield as a “musical genius”.
He said: “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 [Greenfield’s 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.”
The Stranglers formed in 1974 in Guildford, Surrey. Greenfield, who originated from Brighton, joined within a year and they went on to be associated with the punk era.
He was soon known for his distinctive sound and playing style on instruments including the harpsichord and Hammond electric organ. Critics compared his sound to that of Ray Manzarek from The Doors.
In an interview with the band’s website, however, the man himself said he was more influenced by a couple of other famous keyboard players.
“The only tracks by the Doors I knew were Light My Fire & Riders on the Storm,” said Greenfield. “Before I joined my main influences were probably Jon Lord [Deep Purple] and then Rick Wakeman [Yes].”
In the same interview he said he always considered the Stranglers to be “more new wave, than punk”, and also admitted to having had an interest in the occult, evident from him wearing a pentagram pendant in many early band pictures.
“The Pentagram represents the microcosm (as opposed to the macrocosm),” he said. “The relation between the self and the universe. I studied (not practiced) the occult quite intensively in those days.” More via the BBC feature