Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes passed away earlier today at the age of 44 after battling a brain tumor. According to a report on the BBC: “He had suffered a seizure on tour with the band in 2010 and had been receiving treatment for a brain tumour. Brookes had undergone several operations, but had still been working on new material with the band over the summer.”
The Charlatans have been a staple of UK indie music since the release of their first single, “Indian Rope,” back in 1990, and the group’s debut album Some Friendly reached number 1 in the UK charts. Standing out from the shoegaze crowd, the Charlatans’ music blended elements of psychedelica, Madchester, and 1960s garage rock. Throughout the ‘90s, the Charlatans enjoyed continued commercial and critical success with singles like “The Only One I Know,” “Can’t Get Out Of Bed,” “North Country Boy,” and many others.
Unfortunately, the Charlatans — who here in the states were forced to be billed as the Charlatans UK — are no strangers to tragedy. Keyboardist Rob Collins was killed in a 1996 automobile crash.
In 2013, Charlatans fans have the opportunity to express their sorrow over Brookes’ untimely death on the internet:
@sarahmoss23 tweeted “44 is no age but legacy will live on.”
@juliakite summed up many fans’ feelings in her tweet “I danced to Charlatans tunes as a kid in my bedroom, a teenager at concerts, and an adult at club nights. Thanks for the tunes, Jon Brookes.”
And of course, Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess expressed his thoughts via twitter as well.
@tim_burgess: “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”
Due to their staying power, the Charlatans’ music has touched many the world over. Brookes’ talent will be sorely missed; in memoriam, here are my top five Charlatans tunes:
5.) “Just Lookin’,” The Charlatans, 1995
4.) “Then,” Some Friendly, 1990
3.) “Love Is the Key,” Wonderland, 2001
2.) “Over Rising” non-album single, 1991
1.) “I Never Want An Easy Life If Me And He Were Ever to Get There,” Up to Our Hips, 1994