Drummer Billy Conway died yesterday, aged 66, closely linked to the cult band of the 90’s Morphine. His passing was announced on the Facebook page of the evoking band Vapours of Morphine, a trio led by former Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley. Billy Conway had been suffering from cancer for some time, the illness that caused his death.
Unfortunately, the death of drummer Billy Conway, who was a member of Morphine, has just been announced. The cause of death, according to his former partner Jeffrey Foucault of the Vapors Of Morphine project, who was also in charge of communicating the death, was due to cancer that he had suffered for some time.
Although not part of the founding trio, Billy Conway became Morphine’s permanent drummer and was an active member in virtually every phase of the band, right up until its extinction with the sudden onstage death of frontman and frontman Mark Sandman in 1999.
Conway had a very jazzy technique of playing on his little drum kit, with a relaxed and unpredictable style in his drumsticks and at the same time with a huge sense of rhythm. Along with the bass sounds of Mark Sandman’s two-string bass and Dana Colley’s baritone saxophone (sometimes two at the same time), Morphine marked the landscape of ’90s indie-rock with a jazzy atmosphere in a way. very personalized, similar to what happened (also with his very own way of being) with his contemporaries and compatriots Soul Coughing, also from the North American east coast.
Morphine became famous for albums such as “Cure for Pain” (1993) and “Yes” (1995) and above all for their powerful and unusual live performances, as the Portuguese audience was able to witness in Lisbon festivals such as the 1st edition at the Super Bock Super Rock (in 1995), at Gare Marítima de Alcântara, at the extinct Festi. Mail (in 1997), at Coliseu dos Recreios, or at Expo’98, at Praça Sony (in the fourth edition of Super Bock Super Rock ), in 1998.
Before Morphine, Billy Conway had already been in another band with Mark Sandman, Treat Her Right. After the death of Mark Sandman, Conway formed the Twinemen with Dana Colley and branched out into other projects, always with his rock heart beating jazz.
Here is the band’s statement.