The drummer from the famed Chicago band’s imperial phase was 57
John Rowan, drummer for the ’90s Chicago band Urge Overkill known as Blackie Onassis, has died.
“Urge Overkill is saddened to report that Blackie has passed away,” said a statement on the band’s Twitter page. “Please respect our privacy at this time. We are sending much love to his family and all his fans. We know he will be missed.”
With a sound that was once described as Neil Diamond fronting the MC5, Urge Overkill was one of the breakout acts of Chicago’s alternative rock boom of the early 1990s, making its biggest mark with a cover of Mr. Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” originally released on the 1992 Stull EP and featured on the hit soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994).
VIDEO: Urge Overkill “Sister Havana”
The band also had a hit single with “Sister Havana” off 1993’s Saturation, Urge’s major-label debut on Geffen Records that turned 30 this month. After joining the band in 1991 for their third LP The Supersonic Storybook, Onassis would leave following 1995’s underrated Exit the Dragon. He did not participate in the group’s 2004 reunion with Nathan “Nash Kato” Katruud and Eddie “King” Roeser that yielded two fantastic albums in 2011’s Rock & Roll Submarine and last year’s excellent Oui.
Blackie Onassis was 57.