Jack Black has led tributes to late ex-Urge Overkill drummer Johnny ‘Blackie Onassis’ Rowan.
The alt-rock star – who played drums in the Chicago rock group from the start of the 1990s until 1996 – died aged 57 on Tuesday (13.06.23), his spokesperson confirmed to the Los Angeles Times.
His cause of death has not been disclosed.
A social media statement from the band read: “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 band later shared a selfie of their former bandmate with Hollywood actor and Tenacious D rocker Jack Black and wrote: “Thank you for the love and support today. We wanted to share this photo of Blackie, we hope you like it as much as we do.”
In the comments section, Jack paid a touching tribute to the musician, writing: “Loved Blackie. ‘Supersonic Storybook’. ‘Saturation’. ‘Exit the Dragon’. Some of my favourite albums of all time! He was a wild card and a force of nature. Gonna miss him.”
Blackie first appeared on their 1991 LP ‘The Supersonic Storybook’.
The same year, the group supported grunge legends Nirvana on their ‘Nevermind’ tour.
They’d go on to sign to Geffen Records a year later, and released their major label debut, ‘Saturation’, in 1993.
The singles ‘Sister Havana’ and ‘Positive Bleeding’ were the closest they got to a mainstream hit.
Their cover of Neil Diamond’s ‘Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon’ was famously featured in Quentin Tarantino’s iconic 1994 film ‘Pulp Fiction’.
The musician was arrested for heroin possession after the band released 1994’s ‘Exit the Dragon’, and he left the group two years later.
Urge Overkill reunited in 2004, without Blackie.
The current members are Nash Kato, Eddie ‘King’ Roeser, Nate Arling, and Adam Arling.