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Dino Danelli, the drummer who brought jazz virtuosity to the Rascals’ rock ‘n’ roll sound, died Thursday, Dec. 15, in New York, according to a Facebook post and confirmed by bandmates.

He was 78 years old.

“It is with a broken heart that I have to tell you about the passing of Dino Danelli,” Rascals guitarist Gene Cornish said on social media. “He was my brother and the greatest drummer I’ve ever seen. I am devastated at the moment.

“Rest in peace Dino. I love you, brother.”

Danelli was a Jersey City native who picked up a few gigs before linking up with Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish to form the Young Rascals. The band Garfield made its debut at Garfield’s Choo Choo club.

Their many hits, including “Good Lovin'”, “Groovin'”, “People Got to Be Free”, “A Beautiful Morning” and “How Can I Be Sure”, expanded the scope of the era’s rock-pop sound with elements. the use of soul, jazz and complex arrangements and instrumentation.

E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt saw the band at the former Keyport Roller Drome in 1965. Bruce Springsteen was also in the audience.


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