Jack Lee and Debbie Harry, photo courtesy of Jensen Communications, Inc.
Jack Lee and Debbie Harry | Jensen Communications, Inc.

The Nerves’ Jack Lee Has Died

Songwriter and frontman of San Francisco outfit The Nerves, Jack Lee, has died at age 71. Lee’s death was confirmed by his family in a statement to Pitchfork, and they revealed the musician had been battling colon cancer for a number of years.

“He never gave up on his music, to the very end. His guitar, right by his side,” Lee’s family wrote in the statement. “He lived his songs. One by one they told the story of his life. Some dreams die. His never will.” 

Blondie: ‘Hanging On The Telephone’

The Nerves formed in 1974, completed with Peter Case on bass and Paul Collins, and released their debut self-titled EP in 1976. The band made the move down to Los Angeles where they became a staple of the local punk scene, but broke up only a few years after they formed in 1978.

Lee would go on to find massive success by shopping around an early single he wrote called ‘Hanging On The Telephone’. Blondie’s singer Debbie Harry heard the track and wanted to record it for her band.

“I remember the day vividly,” Lee recalled in an interview with Mojo about when he found out Blondie was going to record the song. “It was a Friday. They were going to cut off our electricity at six o’clock, the phone too.”

“Even people who hated me—and there were plenty—had to admit it was great,” Lee said of the track.

Lee would go on to pen songs for artists like Paul Young and Suzi Quatro and also release two solo albums in the ’80s.

Further Reading

‘The Girl from Ipanema’ Singer Astrud Gilberto Has Died Aged 83

Algy Ward of Tank, The Saints and The Damned Has Died Aged 63

Andy Rourke, Bass Player for The Smiths, Has Died

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