The Charlatans’ Jon Brookes: Tribute to a Fallen Drummer

Posted by Jay
jon brookes, the charlatans, drummer

R.I.P. Jon Brookes, Drummer of The Charlatans UK

The drummer of one of my favorite bands died on August 13, 2013. Many people here in the states are not familiar with The Charlatans UK as they never received as much press and radio airplay as  did their British contemporaries like Oasis and Blur during their 90s heyday.  This is a great shame.  The Charlatans UK have outlasted these two bands and have released 11 proper studio albums.  All of their albums have charted in the Top 40 of the UK Albums Chart, with three of their albums reaching number 1.  In addition they have had 17  Top 30 singles and 4 Top 10 singles in the UK Singles Chart.  They have quite the knack for writing great pop songs rooted in funk, blues, rock, and psychedelia. I like to think of them in the lineage of The Rolling Stones; however, they also have been clearly influenced by other predecessors such as The Stone Roses, New Order, and even Pink Floyd.

Jon Brookes was a great drummer who always provided a solid foundation and interesting rhythmic flourishes to the music of The Charlatans UK since their start in 1989. It’s been cited that he was influenced by the likes of John Bonham and Keith Moon, as well as the sounds of American soul music. Unfortunately while on tour in the states in 2010 he suffered a seizure during a performance and was then diagnosed with a brain tumor. He fought his illness with grace and great strength. He loved playing drums and it wasn’t long before Jon returned to the stage in 2011 and 2012 to perform several more times with the band he helped form.

The band had announced in July 2013 that Jon had undergone another operation in relation to his brain tumor, but that it had gone well and that he would remain in the hospital for further treatment. Unfortunately, it was announced on the morning of August 13th, 2013 that Jon Brookes passed away while in the hospital.

Jon Brookes was 44 years old. It is always sad to hear when someone passes away, but it is shocking and heart breaking to lose someone at such an early age. The Charlatans UK have lost a great drummer and a great friend. My condolences go out to Jon’s family, friends, and loved ones. Rest in peace in rock and roll heaven and thank you for sharing your gift with the rest of us.

During his illness, Jon Brookes became involved with the The Brain Tumour Charity. If you would like to donate to this organization in memory of Jon Brookes, please visit the following link:

In addition, I urge anyone who stumbled upon this post to check out The Charlatans UK; you might like what you hear. They are huge in the UK, but with the exception of some early hits have for some reason flown under the radar here in the states. Here is a link to the bands website:

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