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.
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.
Rest in peace Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman. pic.twitter.com/ur8S0eWiCl
— The Who (@TheWho) March 31, 2016
“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.
Listen to the original below — because you know that it’s right.