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Last Updated: Friday, 6 June, 2003, 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK
Animals keyboard player dies
Rowberry (far right) was an integral part of The Animals
A former member of the rock group The Animals has been found dead.

Dave Rowberry, who played the keyboards in the 60s band, was found in his east London flat on Friday afternoon.

The group's drummer, John Steel, said the 62-year-old probably died of a heart attack.

Rowberry, who lived alone, had suffered from heart problems, Steel said.

The band's hits included Got To Get Out Of This Place and The House of the Rising Sun.

Dave was a typical hard-living, hard-playing rock muso
Keith Altham

Some of the group, including Rowberry and Steel, had recently re-formed.

Calling themselves Animals and Friends, the new line-up played their last gig in South Shields on Monday, and were due to play in Poland this weekend.

Steel said he had been trying to ring Rowberry on Friday and panicked when there was no answer.

The band's former bassist Jim Rodford then drove to Rowberry's home in Hackney and found him dead.

Steel said the last few years, playing in the band again, had been fun, despite Rowberry's bad health.

"Dave had some heart problems and it was understood he could pop off any time," he said.

'Amiable and amusing'

Rowberry, who previously played in the Mike Cotton Sound, replaced Alan Price in 1965 as the Animals' keyboard player.

Steel added: "He loved playing with a band.

"He loved the social life of being on the road, eating, drinking, having a good gig and meeting new people.

"It's great that he did it almost up to the last minute."

Music journalist Keith Altham, who interviewed Rowberry several times, said: "Dave was a typical hard-living, hard-playing rock muso.

"He was always very bright, amiable and amusing. He was a great keyboard player."



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