Joan Jett Drummer Lee Crystal Dies After Battle With Multiple Sclerosis
Former Joan Jett & the Blackhearts drummer Lee Crystal died from complications from multiple sclerosis, which he had battled for the past 20 years, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Crystal, who prior to joining Jett played with former New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, was a Blackheart from 1981 to 1986, and performed on Jett's classic albums, 1981's I Love Rock N' Roll, and 1983's Album, 1984's Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth, and 1986's Good Times.
Crystal's work will forever be remembered on such Joan Jett & The Blackhearts hits as the chart-topping " I Love Rock N' Roll, " " Fake Friends, " " The French Song, " and Jett's covers of Sly & the Family Stone's " Everyday People,' Tommy James & The Shondells' " Crimson And Clover. " As his disease progressed, Crystal became a drum teacher operating out of his New Jersey home.
Joan Jett posted a statement on her website (JoanJett.com) saying: " Lee Crystal was a gentleman, and a gentle man. He was a very good person and one I called a friend. He was a Blackheart during some magical times. We love him and will miss him. "
Former Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd posted on his Facebook page: " RIP Pally...your drum fill at the beginning of I Love RnR is part of Rock history!! Always a sweetheart!! My roommate on the road! Love ya Lee...see you on the other side! Condolences to Maura and the rest of the family. "