Echo and the Bunnymen pay tribute to dead keyboard player

POST Punk legends Echo and the Bunnymen have paid tribute to keyboard player Jake Drake-Brockman, who died in a bike crash in the Isle of Man earlier this week.

Jake Drake-Brockman, from Bristol, toured with the band for several years. The 53-year-olf died in the intensive care unit at Noble's Hospital after being involved in a collision while riding his bike last Tuesday teatime.

He played on their 1987 Echo and the Bunnymen album and their 1984 single Seven Seas.

The band broke the news to their fans on their website.

Mr Drake-Brockman was the band's original keys player and fifth Bunnyman.

Peter Allen on behalf of Echo and the Bunnymen paid tribute.

'Jake was one of the most gentle, funny and genuine men you could ask to ever meet,' he said.

'He played on most of the bands biggest hits and toured with the band from the early 80s. He will be hugely missed not just by the band, but by thousands of fans who met him over the years. He had a special bond with all the fans and would often personally reply to fan mail with hand-written letters.

'My most fond memory of him is when I was a 19-year-old kid leaving home for the first time he offered me a room in his house for no rent.

'I lived with him for about a year, never paying him a penny, enjoying his famous Sunday roasts and laughing so, so much. Jake would do anything to help anybody.'

Echo and the Bunnymen is a post-punk group, which was formed in Liverpool in 1978. It's headed up by vocalist Ian McCulloch.

>> Biker dies after open roads crash in Kirk Michael

02 September 2009

Another former member of the band – drummer Pete de Freitas was killed in a motorcycling accident in 1989 at the age of 27, on his way to Liverpool from London.

Tributes and pictures of Mr Drake-Brockman were posted on another website.

Most recently Mr Drake-Brockman worked on the sound for six episodes of Coast, the Blackadder Rides Again documentary, three episodes of Earth: The Climate Wars and an episode of The Natural World.

He was born in Borneo in 1955 and studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He was married to photographer Sally Mundy.

In a short statement, his family described him as a classic bike enthusiast. He loved sailing (though he was invariably seasick), woodcarving and carpentry, cycling, climbing, his beautiful garage and camping with fires.

Music remained central to his life, his family said, explaining his favourite artists included The Incredible String Band, Leadbelly, Hank Williams, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Pink Floyd (with Syd).

Mr Drake-Brockman was killed after sustaining serious injuries when his black Vintage BSA was in collision with a green Ford Transit converted ambulance on the Kirk Michael to Ballaugh road, at the north Orrisdale loop junction.

He was airlifted to Noble's Hospital.

The other driver - thought to be from off the Island – was uninjured.

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