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Ex-Joan Jett & the Blackhearts Drummer Lee Crystal Dies

Blackheart RecordsDrummer Lee Crystal, who played drums for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts from 1981 to 1986, has died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, according to Jett's official website.

Crystal appeared on many of Jett's biggest hits, including "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Bad Reputation," and her covers of "Crimson and Clover" and "Everyday People."

According to a 2006 article in Modern Drummer, Crystal played with ex-New York Dolls members David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain prior to joining Jett's band.  The article also reported that Crystal had been diagnosed with MS in 1993, and had been teaching drums in New Jersey before his illness progressed.

Jett has issued a statement about Crystal's passing that reads, "Lee Crystal was a gentleman and a gentle man.  He was a Blackheart during some magical times.  We love him and will miss him."

Ex-Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd also sent out his own tribute to his former band mate, writing on his Facebook page, "RIP Pally...your drum fill at the beginning of ['I Love Rock 'n' Roll'] is part of Rock history!!  Always a sweetheart!!  My roommate on the road!  Love ya Lee...see you on the other side!"

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