Billy Conway (Morphine) has died

Former drummer of Cambridge, MA alternative rock vets Morphine (from 1991, 1993–1999), Billy Conway, has sadly passed away at the age of 65 following a long battle with cancer. Conway’s friend and bandmate Jeffrey Foucault confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.

We are devastated to learn that our brother, Morphine drummer Billy Conway, has passed, finally succumbing to cancer after a long fight,” stated Vapors of Morphine (who Conway performed with alongside other former Morphine members) on social media. “Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends.”

Billy Conway was one of the best drummers America produced in the second half of the twentieth century,” Foucault commented to Rolling Stone. “With his uncanny empathy and sensitivity, his dedication to simplicity and restraint, and his impossible spiritual power, he played the song, never the instrument, and when he played he was undeniable. He incarnated a ferocious love.

Foucault added “But any description of his accomplishment misses the full measure of the man. Billy was a great soul. He was relentlessly kind and open hearted. He was soft spoken, slow to anger, quick to laugh, and to praise. He was gentle in all things, strange and beloved, magnetic and restless, and somehow haunted. People who met him once would remember and remark him, and it was his odd magic to be the soul in whose presence wisdom might reveal itself.”

Conway filled in for original Morphine drummer Jerome Deupree during his absence in 1991 due to health problems, and eventually took over full drumming duties in 1993. Conway would go on to contribute to all five of the band’s studio albums: ‘Good’ (1992), ‘Cure for Pain’ (1993), ‘Yes’ (1995), ‘Like Swimming’ (1997) and ‘The Night’ (2000). Prior to joining Morphine, Conway and Morphine frontman Mark Sandman (who died on stage from a heart attack in 1999) performed together in the band Treat Her Right.

RIP, Billy.

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