Andy “Thunderclap” Newman passed away yesterday at the age of 73. No cause of death has been released at this time.
Newman was the pianist in the band that bore his name. Thunderclap Newman was put together by Pete Townshend of The Who and his manager Kit Lambert. They were a motley mix to say the least. Although Speedy Keen looked like a prototypical rock singer, most bands did not have 15-year old lead guitarists. Thunderclap Newman did with Jimmy McCulloch (who would later be a part of Paul McCartney & Wings). As for Newman himself, his white hat, coke bottle glasses and suit made him look anything but rock ‘n roll. But put them together and you have “Something In The Air”, a Transatlantic hit in 1969 which still has something to say nearly half a century after it was recorded.
The band would break up in 1971, but Newman would revive Thunderclap Newman in 2007. Unfortunately, Keen and McCulloch had passed on. Now there will be a reunion in rock ‘n roll heaven.
Have a listen to Newman’s piano solo during the bridge of “Something In The Air” and somehow it all fits together.
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