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Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman dead at 73

Andy Thunderclap Newton (centre)
Andy Thunderclap Newton (centre) (Image credit: Getty)

Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman has died, it’s been confirmed.

The piano player and mainman with his namesake band Thunderclap Newman was 73. The band was formed by The Who’s Pete Townshend and Kit Lambert in 1968 as a showpiece for the skills of Newman, John ‘Speedy’ Keen and Jimmy McCulloch.

The Who confirmed Newman’s death in a Facebook post, which reads: “It is with great sadness that we report the death of Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman, who passed away yesterday age 73. Rest in peace.”

Thunderclap Newman’s biggest hit was 1969’s Something In The Air, from the Pete Townshend-produced album Hollywood Dream.

Newman died on March 30 (Wednesday) and producer Steve Hoffman paid tribute in a post on his blog. Hoffman says: “Andy himself, I always thought, was even better on a B-side of Something In the Air called Wilhelmina that one can safely assume probably did not get as much airplay as the A-side.

“He sings nothing like Mick Jagger over a barrelhouse piano nothing like Keith Emerson and though Jimmy McCulloch does a very nice psychedelic fill, it’s as un-rock’n’roll a thing as you can imagine.

“I love it. Now Andy Thunderclap Newman is gone, following Jimmy McCulloch and Speedy Keen, and the band is gone too. Life is just a game, you fly a paper plane, there is no end.”