“His drumming was incredible”
Everett Morton drummer influential ska has died, aged 71.
The news was announced by his band The Beat earlier today (October 9) on social media. No cause of death has been given so far.
He wrote: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Everett Morton, a beautiful and talented man.
“His family is naturally sad. Please respect their privacy. RIP Gaffa! “
It is with great sadness to be informed that Everett Morton, a beautiful and talented man, has passed away. His family is naturally sad. Please respect their privacy❤ RIP GAFFAH! pic.twitter.com/WOe4XWT18u
— The Beat (@TheBeat) 8 October 2021
The curator of the Coventry Music Museum, Pete Chambers BEM, described him as “the engine room of a ska band”, paying tribute to the musician. Coventry Observer.
He said: “He was a true gentleman, soft-spoken, charming, always helpful and always there for people.
“His drumming was incredible for top ten chart hits like ‘Tears of a Clown’, ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’ and ‘Can’t Get Used to Lose You’ and Top Ten Album: ‘I Just Can’t Stop It. And ‘whoop’.”
A more frenetic style is evident on songs such as “Ranking Full Stop”, while his drumming is wonderfully inventive on songs such as ‘Whine and Grin’, unlike many drummers, Everett played the full kit and created a tapestry of beats that each beat. Always clear on the beat. The narrow road.”
Morton was born in St Kitts and eventually moved to Birmingham in the 1960s where he attended Drum School. Later, he played drums in his cousin’s band.
In 1978, he was joined by Dave Wakeling, David Steele and Andy Cox and Ranking Roger who formed The Beat in 1978.
They signed to Coventry’s 2-Tone Records and achieved hand chart success with ‘Tears of a Clown/Ranked Full Stop’ in 1979, which peaked at number six on the chart. Later, he established his own record label, Go-Feet.
They released three albums together during their first period: ‘I Just Can’t Stop It’ (1980), ‘Whappen?’ (1981) and ‘Special Beat Service’ (1982). Her most famous songs include ‘Stand Down Margaret’, ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’ and ‘Doing’.
Tributes poured in from fans on social media following the news of his passing – you can check out some of them below.
We are deeply saddened to announce that we have lost another friend and brother, Everett Morton, today. Everett was a humble and gentleman in life, but a dynamo on drums. He was the beat of The Beat. We feel tremendous at his loss. Our deepest condolences to his family. #RIPEverettMorton️💔 pic.twitter.com/d99Y8NlfSM
— The English Beat (@TheEnglishBeat) 8 October 2021
Thanks for the polyrhythms, thanks for the groove, thanks for the memories of ska dancing at youth club disco, thanks for coming bye Everett #everettmorton #the beat #theenglishbeat #mirrorinthebathroom #saveitforlater #ijustcantstopit #whappen #SpecialBeatService I pic.twitter.com/RDEmHMt8yk
– D. Riverman (@RivermanNick) October 9, 2021
So sad to hear of the passing of Everett Morton, Drummer of the Beat.
sleep well brother x pic.twitter.com/1GzUlpz9oZ
— specials 2 (@thespecials2) 8 October 2021
The Beat was one of my favorite bands when I was growing up. A large part of this was due to drummer Everett Morton. Great player. RIP sir. Thank you for the music. pic.twitter.com/2i5Tf6ROqj
— Mr. Ben (@therealmrbenn) October 9, 2021
— Michael Smiley (@mrmichaelsmiley) October 9, 2021
The singer of the beat, Ranking Roger passed away in 2019 after a cancer diagnosis.
A post on The Beat’s Facebook page confirmed his passing at the time, which read: “He fought and fought and fought, Roger was a fighter.
“The family of Roger would like to thank everyone for their continued support during this difficult time,” the post concluded.