The Chameleons’ John Lever has passed away

We at are saddened to learn that Manchester musician John Lever has passed away today. John was the drummer of the legendary Post-Punk bands such as The Chameleons  and The Sun and the Moon, having a long standing musical partnership with frontman/bassist Mark Burgess from both bands.

John had initially joined Mark to reconvene The Chameleons’ rhythm section in the project ChameleonsVox, but had departed the revival leaving Mark Burgess to remain.

The death was announced by Chameleons frontman Mark Burgess this afternoon:

“We want to offer our sincere and deepest sympathy to John’s mother, his sister and his two children at this terrible time,”

“Obviously I’m shocked at the news and consequently I’ll be offline for a while.”

When The Chameleons formed in 1981, John Lever replaced original drummer Brian Schofield—joining singer/bassist Mark Burgess along with guitarists Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding. Under this lineup the band would go on to release 1983’s Script of the Bridge, 1985’s What Does Anything Mean? Basically and 1986’s Strange Times, before calling it quits shortly after the death of their manger Tony Fletcher.

John Lever would then join Mark Burgess on a new project The Sun and The Moon, which released their self-titled LP in 1988.  The Chameleons would then reunite with their classic lineup in 2001, only to end that incarnation of the band for good after extensive touring.

Recently Lever had buried the hatchet, and re-teamed with his former Chameleons bandmate Dave Fielding as The Red-Sided Garter Snakes.

John, you will be missed!