Young Rascals drummer Dino Danelli passes away

 December 16, 2022

Fans of legendary drummer Dino Danelli were saddened this week to learn that the musician passed away at the age of 78. 

According to a post put up by spokesman Joe Russo on Danelli's official Facebook page, the jazz and rock virtuoso died on Thursday.

Spokesman to fans: "You all made it possible for him to live his dream"

"Our beloved Dino passed away today," Russo wrote. "I will say more in the near future about his incredible talent and share experiences from his life he relayed to me, as well as ones we spent as friends and collaborators."

"I hope you will all continue to appreciate his talent and send him your love," Russo continued. "Thank you for supporting his various endeavors throughout his career."

"You all made it possible for him to live his dream, which was to be a musician and artist," the spokesman went on to add.

In a subsequent post, Russo declared that "[t]o know Dino, you must understand that art was his life. Art, music and film consumed his mind and his heart."

"He was an insomniac, sometimes staying awake for days, because he was always writing, reading, painting, drawing, watching films," the spokesman stressed.

Russo explained that Russo "was beyond private and for someone who many consider one of the greatest drummers of all time, humble to a fault."

E Street Band member says group traces roots to Young Rascals

According to the Asbury Park Press, Danelli was born in Jersey City, New Jersey where he eventually helped form the Young Rascals along with fellow members Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, and Gene Cornish.

The Press reported that actor and E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt recalled seeing the Young Rascals perform in 1965 at the former Keyport Roller Drome.

"They were amazing," Van Zandt was quoted as telling the publication in 2013. "They were absolutely amazing, and it was one of the most inspiring performances of my life."

Van Zandt went on to characterize the Young Rascals' sound as being "half rock, half soul" while stressing that he and E Street Band band founder Bruce Springsteen "trace our roots very much to them."

Van Zandt's wife, Maureen Van Zandt, spoke fondly of Danelli  in a tweet on Thursday, saying, "I’m so sad to hear the great Dino Danelli has passed away."

"A brilliant drummer and artist," she stressed, adding, "I’ll never forget all the happy moments we spent on Broadway during the run of our Rascals show. An original Disciple. An original, period."

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