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Larry Steinbachek of Bronski Beat Dies

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Larry Steinbachek, who played keyboards with the ’80s British synth-pop group Bronski Beat, has died. He was 56.

The news comes via the BBC, where his sister, Louise Jones, revealed that he passed away last month from cancer. Former Bronski Beat vocalist Jimmy Somerville posted a demo of 1984’s “Screaming” on Facebook with the message, “In memory of Larry Steinbacheck whose death was announced yesterday. We were young, brave and determined. Too OUT to stay in! Thank you for that moment Larry.’ Jimmy, 12th January 2017.”

Somerville and Steinbachek formed the group with Steve Bronski in 1983 in London. All three were openly gay, and many of their songs dealt with issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community. Their first single, “Smalltown Boy,” was about a young man leaving his hometown after having been repeatedly beaten for his sexual orientation. It went to No. 3 in Britain and topped the U.S. Dance chart.

But after that album, 1984’s The Age of Consent, Somerville left to form the Communards and they carried on with John Foster on vocals. That led to Truthdare Doubledare, which gave them two more hits in “Hit That Perfect Beat” and “C’Mon! C’Mon!” They also joined forces with Soft Cell‘s Marc Almond for a cover of Donna Summer‘s “I Feel Love.” Foster left in 1987 and was replaced by Jonathan Hellyer, who lasted from 1989-94 before Foster returned for another year before the group broke up.

Beginning in 1989, Steinbachek started working with Remote Control Productions, a German-based theater company founded by director-choreographer Michael Laub.

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