Rascals Drummer Dino Danelli Dead At 78 – How Did He Die?

Rascals Drummer Dino Danelli Dead At 78 - How Did He Die

Dino Danelli, a drummer for the Rascals who contributed to singles including Good Lovin’, “Groovin’, I’ve Been Lonely Too Long, and People Got to Be Free, has passed away at the age of 78.

Gene Cornish, a bandmate and guitarist, broke the news of the musician’s passing on Facebook and referred to Danelli as the best drummer I’ve ever seen. The information was later verified on the group’s archived Facebook page.

Gene Cornish, a co-founder of the Rascals, posted on his personal Facebook page, ‘It is with a broken heart that I must tell you of the demise of Dino Danelli.’

He was the best drummer I’ve ever seen, and my brother. I am currently in a terrible state. Dino, I love you and am praying for your peace.

On Danelli’s Facebook page, Rascals expert Joe Russo posted, “Our dear Dino passed away today. I’ll talk more about his extraordinary talent and the life events he told me about, as well as the times we spent together as friends and collaborators, in the near future. I’m hoping that you’ll all keep loving him and praising his talent. We appreciate your support throughout his career for all of his activities. He was able to fulfill his dream of becoming an artist and musician thanks to you all.”

Drummer Liberty Devitto, who is most known for his work with Billy Joel, wrote on Facebook, “He was my inspiration and a close friend. May Dino Danelli rest in peace. You’ll always have a place in my heart.”

In a subsequent post, Cornish, who co-founded the group in 1965 with Danelli, pianist Felix Cavaliere, and percussionist Eddie Brigati, said that because the drummer was a very private guy, he was unable to respond to all of the fans’ inquiries regarding his passing.

After deteriorating health and a visit to a rehab facility at the beginning of the year, Dino’s spokesperson Joe Russo wrote on the musician’s Facebook page that the drummer was struggling with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure after needing an angioplasty more than ten years prior. 

Russo said he was unassuming and modest, and despite his frail health, he managed to convey a certain aura of friendliness.

I’ll say this: Dino never gave a damn about becoming a “rock star”; for him, it was all about the music and the art. “To him, everything else was just window decoration.”

Danelli was undoubtedly a rock star, despite the fact that he may not have cared about the title. The Young Rascals were the group’s previous name when The Rascals were founded in New Jersey in 1965. 

Van Zandt noted, “Some people may not realize it, but The Rascals were the first rock band in the world,” when he inducted The Rascals into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. You know, we had vocal groups and solo performers in the 1950s.

Danelli was referred to in the speech by Van Zandt as “the best rock drummer ever.”

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