Barrie Masters, the excitable lead singer of beloved British pub rockers Eddie and the Hot Rods, has died at 63.
At press time, no cause of death had been announced, but the group wrote in a statement on Facebook that Master’s passing on Wednesday (Oct. 2) was unexpected. “It is with extreme sadness we announced the passing of the legendary Barrie Masters,” they wrote. “As you can expect, this sudden news is a huge shock to the band and family.”
Masters was the only consistent member of the Essex, England-bred band best known for their 1977 track “Do Anything You Wanna Do,” who famously had their equipment smashed by their opening act, the Sex Pistols, during a chaotic gig at the Marquee Club in Feb. 1976. The band’s debut EP, Live at the Marquee, was released later that year and included the title track of their debut album, Teenage Depression — which was featured in the 1979 Ramones flick Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.
Though they had a more straight-ahead rock sound than some of their punk peers, the group’s struggles to chart resulted in their getting dropped by their first record label and their eventual split in 1981. Masters reformed the band three years later with new players, reunited in 1992 and then rebooted once again in the early 2000s, releasing the Been There, Done That album to celebrate their 30th anniversary. They pulled together nearly a dozen current and former members at the O2 Academy in Islington, England, in April for the “Done Everything We Wanna Do” gig.
In August, the group played shows with fellow punk veterans Stiff Little Fingers in the UK, with bassist Ian “Dispter” Dean filling in.
See the band’s statement below, including tributes to Master and watch a performance of “Do Anything You Wanna Do.”