Lever played on the post-punk group’s first three albums and was part of the band’s lineup when they reformed in 2000.

John Lever, the drummer for cult Manchester post-punk band The Chameleons, has died.

The group’s co-founder Mark Burgess wrote on his Facebook yesterday (March 13) that Lever “died this morning following a short period of illness.”

He continued: “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.”

The Chameleons formed in Manchester 1981 with Lever, previously a member of The Politicians, joining the group shortly after. Lever played on the band’s first three albums – 1983 debut Script Of The Bridge, What Does Anything Mean? Basically in 1985, and 1986’s Strange Times, but split up in 1987 following the death of their manager Tony Fletcher. He was also part of the band’s lineup when they reformed in 2000, until they split up again three years later.

In addition to his work with The Chameleons, Lever also performed with Burgess in the Sun and the Moon, releasing an eponymous album in 1988. In 2000, the Chameleons reunited and released three more albums before splitting up again in 2003.

In 2009, Burgess and Lever reformed to play The Chameleons’ back catalogue, under the name ChameleonsVox, while most recently Lever was in the Red-Sided Garter Snakes with Chameleons guitarist Dave Fielding.



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