Monday 31 May 2010

Jeffrey Ladd

Jeffrey Ladd passed away some days ago. He was a member of Black 47 back in the chaotic first year of the band. Officially, I suppose he sang back up vocals but oftentimes he would double my voice. I met him in 1979 through our drummer, Thomas Hamlin and our associate member, guitarist Mike Fazio. He was part of the Queens connection when the Major Thinkers were blasting through the CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City scene.

He became “roadie” for the Copernicus “orchestra” and I have a memory of him at a performance in the old Tier 3 in Tribeca getting his foot broken during a particularly fractious and rowdy gig. That was Jeffrey, always in the thick of things, ensuring that there be at least some infinitesimal control on the chaos. He later became a vocalist/keyboardist with Copernicus.

I have another memory of him with Black 47 in Sunnyside when a fight broke out in a very narrow and hostile bar. We had just finished a set, so I moved backwards to avoid the fray. Not Jeffrey – he stood before the equipment, impressively making sure the fisticuffs did not spill over to the stage. It was only later I found out that he was an ice-hockey goalkeeper.

He was lead vocalist in a number of bands including The Baby Flies and Life With The Lions. A fine singer in the Ian Curtis/Peter Murphy mould, he was one of those creative, sensitive people for whom the brutality of the business end of rock music often proves too much. They enter it with a sense of idealism that often turns to disillusion. Jeff Ladd, though, never lost his sense of humor.

A beautiful person – never less than kind and caring – he was particularly loved by women as he always took the time to listen and identify with individual pain. He certainly knew enough about the subject. He’d had some hard times of late but had pulled his world together; then life played its cruelest joke.

He was a comrade and a friend, someone you could always turn to. He will be deeply missed by the Black 47 family and by the many who loved him for himself and his undoubted talent.


  1. I'm an old friend of Jeff's from Astoria, and our paths diverged some time in the middle 80's. I have such affectionate memories of Jeff, and found that he always had a positive effect in the lives of those he knew, and who knew him. Mike and Jeff turned me on to so much great music, and I count myself as one of the lucky ones to have seen AE, Copernicus, and later Chill Faction,

    I have often thought of them, and you and Hammy, always hoping that all was well. My sister Nessa relayed the news of Jeff's passing to me. I just lost one former bandmate from back in the day, six days after Jeff passed, and my heart is now heavier still.

    God rest his truly beautiful soul.
    sean burns

  2. "Jeffrey Ladd" (Jeff Nozilo) was my boyfriend for three years during the time that he was in Black 47, The Baby Flies, and Copernicus bands in the 80s. He played flute, was lead singer, and back up singer. He was a huge Cure and Joy Division fan,sounded like them, and always dressed in black. I used to go to his rehearsals, shows and hang out in the recording studio for hours on end with Pat and Jim Waters,Lin Culbertson, Chris Katris, Thomas Hamblin, and Mike Fazio. I'd wake up at 4AM to go out to Long Island to ice hockey practice with Jeff. When I met him, he worked at NY Magazine and then USA Today. He made the mistake of marrying someone else instead of me, and I couldn't bring myself to ever talk to him again, but he was a special part of my life.He loved b/w photography and shot many images of angel statues in cemeteries. He mourned the loss of his mother and never recovered. He is now with the her and the angels forever. Rest in peace there, Jeff.~ April Sandmeyer

  3. i am in shock to read this about jeff. i lost contact with him three years ago. we parted on sad terms and i have been trying to find him to make it right.....


  4. Hi my name is Brianna Torres. Im Jeff's niece. (he had a sister named Barbara I'm her child). From time to time I go online looking for things that people have writen about him. It helps me feel closer to him when ever I feel like I'm losing touch with him or myself. When I started to read this article I started to cry because I remember him telling me this story and other story's just like this one. It makes me so happy to see how much of a difference my uncle has made in some people's lives! It makes me laugh when I hear people say that uncle muck (Michael Fazio) and my uncle Jeff turned people on to all different kind of music bec I know with out my uncle Jeff or uncle muck I would have no taste in good music. It's because of my uncle that I have a love for music. As a young child my uncle would alway try to show me new music and I loved that. I only remember my uncle singing one or two times but I will never forget his voice! He was the one that gave me a small but loving push in to singing. My uncle is the reason why I sing to day. Since 3rd grade I took voice lessons and sang in many school shows (nothing big but it was still singing). I remember when ever I would tell him that I sang in a show he would be so happy! It made me happy to know that I was doing right by him. After he passed away I looked at uncle muck and told him that I would NEVER sing again! He looked at me and said that his passing should give me even more of a reason to sing (not because of his passing) but bec its what he would want me to do. Another thing that made me laugh is the way you spoke about my uncles personality you hit it right on the head!! I will never forget home funny he was and all his little jokes. At first you would never get them but than after you thought about them you would die. Not just his jokes but his voices that he would do would make you laugh for days. If you were sad and he was around he would always make you laugh. You could never be upset or sad. And well for the close choice that never changed. I would like to thank all the friends that have been apart of his life and I know with out any of his friends he would of never been such a great uncle,brother,husban, and son. I also have to thank his wife El bec with out her love and support my uncle would of been gone way before this. She really has been the most amazing person in the world. She stayed around when everthing was as bad as it could get. So as his niece I would like to say thank you from my family to all of you because you all have made him who he is.

    Thank you
    Lots of love
    Brianna Marie Torres

  5. OMG... I can't believe it... well.. maybe he's in a better place for him... did he have a heart attack? or? I'm in shock.. the last time I saw him he had come up to have a kind of reunion... (we were an item way back when he was just in college).... we lost touch, and then got back in touch... but it wasn't meant to be.. I had changed far too much to go back to whatever... anyway.. he was a lovely person, beautiful heart in a lot of pain, and I hope he is in heaven.


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