Tributes have been paid to Dave Greenfield, the keyboard player of The Stranglers, who has died aged 71.
Greenfield died on Sunday (May 3) after a prolonged stay in hospital for heart problems. He had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
A founding member of The Stranglers, Greenfield’s playing style contributed to the band’s sound. He was one of the main co-writers on Golden Brown, the band’s biggest hit, which reached No.2 in 1982. In a 2018 Hitmakers on the song, then-Stranglers frontman Hugh Cornwell credited Greenfield with coming up with the song's distinctive keyboard riff.
“On the evening of Sunday, May 3, 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,” said bassist Jean-Jacques Brunel. “All of us in the worldwide Stranglers’ family grieve and send our sincerest condolences to [Greenfield’s wife] Pam.”
“We have just lost a dear friend and music genius, and so has the whole world,” said drummer Brian “Jet Black” Duffy. “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.”
He should be remembered as the man who gave the world the music of Golden Brown. Hugh Cornwell 4/5/2020 (2nd of 2)— Hugh Cornwell (@HughCornwell) May 4, 2020
“His musical skill and gentle nature gave an interesting twist to the band,” said former band member Hugh Cornwell.
“We lost a true innovator, musical legend, and one of my dearest friends today,” said singer and guitarist Baz Warne. “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 worshipped at his altar, he'll never be equalled.”
“We are all in shock, Dave was a kind, generous soul who had time for anyone and everyone and it has been my privilege to have known him as both a close friend and his manager for over 40 years,” said Sil Willcox of the band’s management. “Our thoughts are with his wife Pam at this sad time.”
* To read Music Week's 2018 Hitmakers on Golden Brown, click here. To make sure you can access Music Week wherever you are, subscribe to our digital issue by clicking here.