Bloc Party's drummer is latest casualty of toughest job in rock

From Keith Moon of The Who to John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, the history of rock is replete with tales of drummers who lived life on the edge. The latest example appears to be Matt Tong, of Bloc Party, who is being treatedfor a collapsed lung after becoming unwell during a performance in the United States.

Tong, 27, was taken to hospital shortly after leaving the stage in Atlanta, Georgia, where the band were performing with a fellow British group, Panic! At the Disco, as part of a US tour. Doctors say he is in a comfortable condition and not in any danger but cannot be moved and has to remain in hospital for at least three days.

Tong is the latest in a series of drummers who have been taken to hospital after suffering from health problems, which have a tendency to affect rock and pop drummers more than other musicians, often because of the sheer physical demands on the job.

There is no suggestion of drink or drugs being involved with Tong's condition but his drumming style has been described as "very physical" and "quite mad", firmly classing him in a tradition of drummers such as Moon of and Bonham, both of whom succumbed to drink and drugs problems.

As a result of his illness, Bloc Party, whose music is described as "post-punk revival" have been forced to cancel a number of forthcoming shows, including two sold-out dates at New York's Madison Square Garden next week. They were only three dates into the four-week tour and it remains uncertain whether they will be able to complete it.

A spokeswoman for the band said Tong may have suffered the injury while drumming. "Matt is known for his energetic drumming style," she said.

"He can be quite mad. Everyone is very worried about him and it's not clear at this stage when he will be fit to resume performing. We will not really know until next week."

She said there were no clues yet as to why he had suffered a collapsed lung. "He hasn't been ill or anything; it just seems to be one of those things.''

His wife, Brooke, is understood to be at his bedside.

The band are considered rising stars of the British music scene. Their debut album Silent Alarm, earned a Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2005 and they have released several singles.

Their music has featured in the BBC's Wimbledon coverage, advertising campaigns and on the soundtrack to the film The Wedding Crashers, as well as episodes of the television dramas CSI:NY and The OC.

It is not known if Tong's illness will affect the release of the group's second album, which is due out in February next year on V2 records.

A drummer since he was 16, Tong, who was born in Bourne-mouth, was the last member of the band to join and has a degree in music technology.

Problems such as repetitive strain injury and carpel tunnel syndrome, a paralysing condition of the wrist and hands, are increasingly common among drummers. Earlier this year, Sam Fogarino, the drummer with the American group Interpol was treated in hospital after losing the feeling in his arm during a gig in Bologna, Italy. He was diagnosed with a stressed nerve. Another US group, Nine Inch Nails, had to replace their drummer Jerome Dillon after he fell ill with heart problems last year.

Victims who kept the beat

* Jim Gordon, the highly regarded session drummer who co-wrote 'Layla' with Eric Clapton, developed acute paranoid schizophrenia and killed his mother in 1983.

* Keith Moon was famed for drinking sessions with Oliver Reed, his addiction to pills and driving Bentleys into pools. He died in September 1978, with 32 types of pill inside him.

* Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, a copious consumer of drugs and alcohol, was famed for trashing hotel rooms. When he died in 1980 he had drunk four quadruple vodkas for breakfast.

* Ginger Baker, of Cream, played the 16-minute drum solo, 'Toad', on Wheels of Fire. But for 20 years he was a heroin addict.

* Richard Manual of The Band, Bob Dylan's backing group, often consumed eight bottles of Grand Marnier a day. He hanged himself in 1986, cocaine at his side.

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

    Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
    Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

    Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

    No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
    How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

    Power of the geek Gods

    Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

    Perfect match

    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

    Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

    Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
    Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

    Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

    He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high