Stranglers’ founder and drummer Jet Black has died.

9th December 2022

Jet Black Rome 1980

Drummer Jet Black had bravely switched from successful businessman in midlife crisis to drummer of a rock band. He registered the name in September 1974 and just three years on, they were in the charts with Peaches, Something Better Change and No More Heroes. Hits followed, and the rest is history.

I first met Jet in the summer of 1980 after he invited me down to Stranglers Information Service operations where bimonthly magazine Strangled was published, and as the world’s biggest Stranglers’ fan, I was awestruck to add my creative side. As I stepped out at Bank Tube, it struck me how Jet’s burly image was quite daunting to say the least, what with press cuttings of tantrums carried out in restaurants with furniture thrown if he didn’t like what he was served or the service he received - so it was just as well that day wasn’t a lunch date. Trouble was, that was exactly what happened.

Several of us left the office in Southwark led by Jet’s gentle ten-to-two gait to The Anchor pub and we ate on decking over the Thames. All I could think of was, so this is the music business is it!? Later that afternoon Jet egged me on to sketch the next Strangled front cover as well as the next and on it with bits and pieces and all the time, Jet was an absolute gent, always supportive and helpful: he was put simply, a good guy.

The Stranglers Poster

If I wasn’t making art or articles, I helped his son Anthony with fan mail and there were many enquiries from sacks of mail in almost in every corner of New Hibernia House. Jet was on hand almost daily (they had just finished recording the next album) and as soon as he set foot inside, I was the silly seventeen year old with a stack of questions from lyrics and song titles. What was a mastodon? Where was La Brea? What was the fate of Lot’s Wife? Without a jot of protestation, Jet educated in a charming manner and took time explaining various foibles in songs and lyrics. It was that summer he played Anthony and myself a tape of The Raven follow-up, The Gospel According to the Meninblack but due to its extreme experimentalism, neither of us were instantly impressed. And there was Jet, always with the right thing to say, right thing to do, when he suggested it would grow on us and six months later upon release, he was bang on.

Jet Bear Cage Green

Jet drummed on my favourite songs - he was widely read and warm with it - and I suspect not many rock stars possessed such talents and charm. My heart sank when I saw the news of Jet’s passing on Thursday 8th December 2022 at the age of eighty-four but thankfully he was surrounded by those who love him at his home. God bless you Jet. You can never be forgotten. Gary Kent.

New Stranglers’ LP in Top 5?

18th September 2021

Dark Matters

Amid a sea of press superlatives lauding a pre-launch Dark Matters, reviewers got it spot on. The Stranglers’ eighteenth album has just been rewarded with the band’s first UK #4 placement since January 1983’s seventh LP, Feline. Through sad hardship of losing dear Dave Greenfield in 2020, the band finished off in honour of him and sonically flourished with a fresh and magnificent piece of work: production is perfect, as is performance. It wouldn’t be a surprise to imagine Dave looking down upon us with a raised glass of Stella in celebration!

Stranglers’ eighteenth LP tagged as Dark Matters.

9th September 2021

The Stranglers’ eighteenth LP is out Friday 10th September 2021, three-quarters of which features our dearly departed keyboards wizard Dave Greenfield - but will it form the band’s swansong? That remains to be seen and I for one am very much looking forward to hearing this despite the myriad of drip-feed teasers in the run-up. What’s been witnessed is an accomplished, eclectic, unfettered collection of songs, probably their best since, well, whenever! Far superior to the previous let’s say.

Dark Matters

And If You Should See Dave... video!

12th May 2021

Watch here:

And If You Should See Dave Video

Dark Matters : And If You Should See Dave...

6th May 2021

Dark Matters Montage Dark Matters Super Bundle

It has been a tough twelve months all round especially since the sad passing of our keyboard hero Dave Greenfield due to Covid. Life goes on for the band and most of the tracks for the next album feature Dave and are near completion; a ray of light in dark times. Dark Matters will hopefully be out on September 10th and can be pre-ordered in a number of attractive looking bundles HERE.

Dark Matters Album Cover

A stunningly beautiful prequel track has been aired and makes a great tribute to Dave sung by JJ called And If You Should See Dave... Listen HERE.

David Paul Greenfield (29th March 1949 - 3rd May 2020)

5th May 2020

Dave Greenfield

Dave Greenfield, keyboard genius extraordinaire will never be forgotten.

He was the sound of The Stranglers since joining the band in 1975 and brought us the music of Golden Brown as well as lead vocals on Peasant in the Big Shitty, Dead Ringer, Do You Wanna, Genetix and Four Horsemen. Sincere condolences to his wife, Pam. Rest in peace, Dave.

Just Like Nothing On Tape

11th May 2018

Tapes Pebble Beach 1

As Strangled's cassette collection comes along nicely, there's a brand new addition to the tape family.

This is a unique reel from Pebble Beach Studio of Just Like Nothing On Earth. It's particularly unusual as it's a monitor mix, so all the instruments would have been recorded and mixed to a degree and run off onto 1/4" for consent from interested parties to press ahead with the final mix. In other words, if an instrument was missing or it was deemed too high or too low in this mix, it would have to be addressed on the 2" master tape. The date this was run off reads 25th February 1980 which means that The Stranglers started work on JLNOE earlier than previously thought: records show the band had recorded it in Startling Studios in August along with Manna Machine.

Pebble Beach 2

In terms of chronology of recording, the Meninblack sessions kicked off with Bear Cage and Waiting for the Meninblack for a week in mid-January in Air Studios London; JLNOE in Worthing in February and Who Wants The World in The Church in mid-March just days before Hugh was sentenced to Pentonville Prison for drugs possession.

Fascinatingly - and we can say with authority - this 1/4" is the actual tape taken round to JJ's for his nod of approval and appears to have been well cared for since and to date, it has not been played for 38 years. We're also told that the band recorded JLNOE straight forwardly as a band, rather than the method they employed around the time of laying down each individual drum part separately and then each layer of sound. If anyone has any other tapes of interest - or a cassette of Euroman Cometh - please get in touch. We're all ears, so to speak.

The Stranglers: the movie

28th March 2018

Jet Black Battersea

There will be a film of The Stranglers and it is due for release in Spring 2019. The Stranglers are calling on their long-standing and devoted fan base to help their official photographer and director David Boni (Go Boogie Films) make the first ever feature-length film charting their unique story.

David has spent six years collecting and piecing together never seen before footage, both contemporary and vintage, intimate interviews with band members, and exclusive backstage action. The finished film will document the full tale of The Stranglers’ career, from humble beginnings in a Surrey scout hut in the early ’70s through to the present day in a career that has seen the group banned from playing in Glasgow, jailed in Nice and marched out of Sweden.

By getting involved with David’s PledgeMusic campaign, you will help make this incredible story a reality and get your name mentioned in the documentary’s credits and accompanying liner notes. There’s also the opportunity to pledge on VIP tickets to the completed film’s London premiere in 2019, complete with Q&A.

PledgeMusic customers will also have exclusive access to behind the scenes content and deleted scenes with the Access Pass.

JJ interview on Retropopic Radio

19th January 2018

We featured a great radio interview with JJ Burnel last week on Strangled Facebook where JJ talks about the story of The Stranglers. So we thought we would find out the story of Neil Saint, the man behind the interview.

Neil Saint

"Well I'm a Brit originally, now living in Sydney. I'm a trained DJ and music nut - got into The Stranglers in 1977 - and my radio show is called Retropopic and goes out on 2RRR in Sydney every Friday night 9-10pm where I specialise in 1960s to pre-millennial music plus interviews. I love punk of course, as well as really good pop. I always do my research before an interview and make it clear to my guests how I operate before the interview. Like, I make a statement followed by an open question. I'm really lucky broadcasting for a community radio station as I have total creative control. It's going so well I've got pre-recorded material to take me up to April."

The JJ interview is part of Retropopic's 40 years of punk celebration and guests include UK Subs' Charlie Harper, The Jam's Rick Buckler, SLF's Jake Burns, Peter Bywaters of the Test Tube Babies, Marky Ramone, and Skids' Richard Jobson is also lined up.

"I think JJ came across well, he's a great bloke."

Neil's excellent Retropopic Radio Show can be accessed globally at and archived shows are available on Mixcloud. Plus there's Retropopic Facebook you can go to HERE

Here's that JJ interview:

Retropopic JJ Interview

JJ featured in Bass Guitar magazine

19th January 2018

JJ is interviewed in the current edition of Bass Guitar magazine HERE

Jean-Luke Epstein

9th May 2017

Jean-Luke Epstein

News has just come to us overnight of the sad death of Jean-Luke Epstein. J-L was art director and photographer on many Stranglers records and CD covers, as well as many other artists. J-L was a friend of the band and a friend of Strangled: years back, he kindly got in touch to tell us how much he had enjoyed reading one of our PDFs. J-L was himself involved in Stranglers between 1984 and 1992. J-L was also a confirmed fan of The Stranglers, when he told us:

"I’ve pretty well been a Stranglers’ fan from the vinyl outset. Never got to see them though until Wembley supporting The Who - a ridiculous state of affairs given that I lived three streets away from The Nashville and, irritatingly, kept hearing, each time I missed them, glowing accounts of how brilliant they were when they played there. As a former Who fan, I left Wembley after the MIBs’ set, such was the affirmation of their prowess."

J-L was a talented and charming man who will be sorely missed by everyone who were fortunate enough to have met him and knew him. Our sincerest thoughts go out to J-L's family and friends Rest in peace, Jean-Luke.

J-L was a talented and charming man who will be sorely missed by everyone who were fortunate enough to have met him and knew him. Our sincerest thoughts go out to J-L's family and friends Rest in peace, Jean-Luke.

Loft, lost and found

9th May 2017

It's been a busy time behind the scenes what with all the updating to the new version of Strangled. Thanks to webmaster Ian, it's a smart new site that can be viewed clearly in all formats. We didn't lose the old articles, we just archived them at the end of each tab. One plan was to upload Strangled reader Duncan's disc of Strangled Volume 2 magazines where he lovingly scanned each page like he did for the first volumes in Stranglers Magazines tab. Unfortunately, the disc has disappeared here at Strangled HQ and Duncan's computer drive has since died. The search is still on so they can join Volume 1 Strangleds. On the plus side, we did retrieve Duncan's scan of the seminal and rare Sideburns magazine which is added to Strangled Magazines.

There are new Stranglers dates added for 2017 for the UK and France, plus we hear the infamous Wonky Bus will be in action for a couple of European dates later this year.

Two Sunspots

But the most exciting discovery for years is the original version of Two Sunspots on acetate. Furthermore, the palimpsest Meninblack, which sounds quite different from the track off The Raven we all know and love. Two Sunspots is a version with different vocals from the Meninblack album track that was once cued for single release in 1979 before being aborted. According to our records, both versions were recorded at Eden Studios in Chiswick on 7th May 1979 with Martin Rushent and Alan Winstanley, and quite possibly the very day Martin walks out on The Stranglers once they chose to work on Two Sunspots in reverse which as we all know became Meninblack. The version from the acetate Strangled heard jumps at 'information can destroy - ' so does anyone out there have a better copy from their acetate they can email us?

We shared both mp3s to a dropbox site for 24 hours in April and spread the word through Strangled facebook. In terms of appeal and quality, it even rivals the cassette 'straight from the desk' of The Raven which was nobly supplied to us by Strangled reader Jeff which we shared by cunningly tucking it teasingly away in one of our features on The Raven.

Also, in a further quest, the rejected promo video for Nice 'n' Sleazy is so far proving very much elusive. This was to be included in an upcoming Strangled feature called 'Did Video Kill The Radio Star?' with interviews from Stranglers video directors Lindsey Clennell, Chris Gabrin and also Brian Lunn who shot the Nice 'n' Sleazy promo. So if anyone knows if a copy still exists beyond the pub video jukebox fad of the early 1980s where it was last seen by a handful of Stranglers fans up and down the country, please get in touch: a trade could be in the offing. We think you will agree that It would be a great addition to the new-look Strangled. Meanwhile watch out for 'Did Video Kill The Radio Star?' in Features coming shortly.

Strangled Facebook

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Stranglers IV Rattus Norvegicus

15th April 2017


Here's wishing The Stranglers' debut LP a very happy 40th birthday!

Rattus Norvegicus Album

The 'Black and White' tour March 2016

2nd March 2016

Black and White tour 2016

'March On' tour 2015

11th January 2015

March On tour 2015

Never To Look Back: the Video Collection 1983-2012

7th January 2014

Never To Look Back: the Video Collection 1983-2012

This latest Stranglers DVD features a comprehensive collection of all of the promotional videos from the Feline album onwards plus rare and unreleased footage including some great live appearances. All this for just £15.00 plus postage and a Suite XVI tour poster included. This is a must for all Stranglers fans. DVD - Region 0 - worldwide compatible. Available from the official merchandiser HERE

JJ on Vintage TV

JJ on Vintage TV

Many of you may have witnessed JJ in an hour long programme - Neil McCormick’s Needle Time – on Christmas Eve. Originally broadcast on Vintage TV in the UK, the show can also be viewed HERE

Graeme Rennie 1967–2013: rest in peace…

Graeme Rennie

I AM SURE MANY OF YOU ARE AWARE THAT Stranglers fan Graeme Rennie has sadly passed away. He was well-known in the Stranglers fraternity but to me, he became a true friend. Graeme was smart man, intelligent, inspirational, witty and warm. He was also someone who heroically kicked prostate cancer into touch on two occasions. Unfortunately, it was not third time lucky, and it was a rare, unfortunate complication that Graeme finally succumbed to on Saturday. But even so, all through, right to the end, Graeme always braved it out - Braveheart himself - with his immensely positive attitude. It is hard to realise that just weeks ago, I was enjoying a marathon catch-up telephone call from this legend who I will never forget.

Edinburgh-born Graeme immigrated to Western Australia some years back with Nichola, who Stranglers fans may remember working at the SIS in Kingston some years back. I knew of Graeme – or Griff as he was also known - but it wasn’t until we eventually met that our friendship grew. Griff returned to Blighty after visiting his sister, and squeezes in a Stranglers gig before heading for the airport. So when I’m loitering in the lobby of the Brighton Dome in 2010, chatting with a pal by the merch stall, I’m suddenly greeted by a man in black in a beanie hat and a James Bond - Sean Connery voice:

“Mr. Kent, good evening!”

I’m both shaken and stirred. We hit it off. All three of us that night. We see the gig, we laugh, we joke, chew the cud and these three amigos stretch out the night at a nearby restaurant until late: it was like Griff and I had known each other for a decade. Well, we had really. But that night, we became mates. Little did I know that we’d never meet again, nor will Griff ever see the band again. Post-grub, Griff dashes to his early morning flight. I snap us all in St. James Street, and get one of Griff. Little did anyone know that precisely three years to the day of this photo, Griff would slip away from us, from Nichola, from everyone who knew him and loved him. But boy did he put up a fight.

His rock was Nichola: he’d told me so many times in emails and phone calls. Having just spoken with her, I see his point entirely. She’s clearly heartbroken, but she is doing her best, as ever. She tells me that she loves the photo, taken on their old Brighton stomping ground. She adds: “If you look closely, you’ll see a mark on Griff’s nose. It’s not a bogey, it’s from when his sister’s dog who decided to take a bite of him earlier that day!”

We were like brothers - like two old women on the phone - gassing about The Stranglers, music in general, anything, as well as ideas of hooking up in Aus this year or the next. He trained for his Taekwondo Black Belt after his all-clear in 2012, and by December, Griff and Nichola set out on a holiday to the other side of Australia to coincide with the handful of Stranglers concerts. A review is promised, but it never gets written. Because in the airport departure lounge, tragedy strikes. Griff suffers a fit. A scan reveals that this disease has spread to his meninges. More chemo fails to dampen his spirit. He is determined to win this battle for the third time. At the hospice, he stoically clings on to life, clinging to his rock, Nichola. All the time, he never lets on to me how much pain he is in. He never says how uncomfortable he is. He just remains so positive, right to the end of the trail. The man was amazing. If I was Griff’s leveller, Griff was my confidant and adviser. The brother I never had. It was Griff who first hears a problem that up until then, no one is aware of except me. To that, I receive not just empathy and sympathy, but above all, he is there for me with heartfelt, sensible advice while he himself goes through a lot worse. I shall never forget you, Graeme Rennie, 007 and Earl of Hibernia. Three years wasn’t long enough. If only we could stretch this out a little bit longer… Slange, my friend.

Gary Kent

Remembering Graeme Rennie HERE