Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman Dead at 73, The Who Reports

Chris Morphet/Redferns
Andy Newman on piano performing at a Meher Baba event at Goring on Thames in 1972.

Sad news in the classic rock world. Andy "Thunderclap" Newman, namesake of the British band behind the generation-defining hit "Something In the Air," died Thursday, March 30 at age 73, according to The Who's official Facebook page. 

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman, who passed away yesterday age 73. Rest in peace. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8zmkzshUvE

Posted by The Who on Thursday, March 31, 2016

 

Pete Townshend helped form Thunderclap Newman in the late '60s and played bass guitar on their recordings under the alias "Bijou Drains." The band consisted of John "Speedy" Keen, Andy "Thunderclap" Newman and Jimmy McCulloch, who would later join Paul McCartney in Wings for a spell. 

"Something In the Air," which appeared on the band's only album, 1969's Hollywood Dream, reached No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart but only No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100. Regardless, the tune is more familiar to (and beloved by) Americans than many other higher charting hits from the era thanks to its consistent presence on classic rock radio and use in TV and film. Additionally, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1994 cover of the classic on Petty's Greatest Hits album introduced the song to a new audience; that version peaked at No. 19 on Mainstream Rock Songs.

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Listen to the original below -- because you know that it's right.