The Charlatans’ drummer Jon Brookes passed away this morning following treatment for a brain tumor. The 44 year-old had suffered a seizure in Philadelphia during their 2010 American tour and underwent several operations and treatments as a result of the diagnosed tumor. He experienced a relapse in September 2012 and was operated on as recently as last month. Jon Brookes continued to play and record with the band throughout his illness, including working on new material over the summer. He was admitted to hospital earlier this week. The band’s official statement concludes, ‘He passed away peacefully in hospital early this morning with his friends at his bedside.’
Jon Brookes was a founding member of the Charlatans. He formed the band with Martin Blunt, Rob Collins, and original singer and guitarist Baz Ketley in the West Midlands in 1989. He recorded on all eleven of their studio albums, from their 1990 debut Some Friendly to 2010’s Who We Touch. While the band were frequently associated with the Madchester scene, their music was incomparable, thanks to Rob Collins’ Hammond organ and the driving rhythm section. Jon Brookes’ drumming was an integral part of the group’s sound. His tight, fluid beats merged with bassist Martin Blunt’s pulsating rhythms to provide the soulful groove that drove their songs. The band first rose to prominence in the baggy era with 1990 single ‘The Only One I Know.’ Their chart-topping albums 1995’s The Charlatans and 1997’s Tellin’ Stories helped define the Britpop era. Despite the waning popularity of many of their contemporaries, the Charlatans have retained a steady following for the past twenty years.
The Charlatans issued an official statement confirming the news: ‘Jon was a brilliant drummer, an inspiration, a founding member of the Charlatans, part of our family and a friend to everyone in and around the band…Losing someone who was always so full of life is a tragedy that will be shared by so many. Our thoughts are with Debbie and all of Jon’s family.’
Charlatans singer Tim Burgess tweeted, ‘Jon Brookes, my friend, our drummer and inspiration to so many, passed away this morning. We are torn apart. Love & thoughts to Jon’s family.’
Along with the band, and several other music projects, Jon Brookes was the founder of One Beat Records.
Britpopnews would like to extend our condolences to Jon’s friends and family. RIP Jon.