Former Urge Overkill Drummer Blackie Onassis Has Died
There's sad news to report as Blackie Onassis, drummer for '90s alt-rock favorites Urge Overkill, has died. The news was confirmed in a brief social media statement from the group.
"Urge Overkill is saddened to report that Blackie has passed away. 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."
The drummer, born John Rowan, joined Urge Overkill for their third studio album, 1991's Supersonic Storybook, and remained a member through their breakout success with their fourth album Saturation in 1993 as well as their 1995 follow-up Exit the Dragon. Over this period, the band scored alt-rock radio hits with "Sister Havana" and "Positive Bleeding," as well as their Pulp Fiction soundtrack cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon." They also charted with the songs "The Break" and "Somebody Else's Body."
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Per the Los Angeles Times, Rowan said of adopting his stage name, “I’m not Blackie Onassis because of my personal life, I’m Blackie Onassis because I drum in Urge. I like being Blackie Onassis; it’s like living in a musical wonderland”
The band eventually split after King Roeser exited the band and singer Nash Kato resurfaced with his 2000 solo album, Debutante, which included six songs written with Onassis.
Revisit some of the drummer's work with Urge Overkill below.