Former April Wine Bassist Steve Lang Dead at 67
Steve Lang, the bassist who stepped in for original April Wine member Jim Clench and helped anchor the lineup during the band's most commercially successful period, has died at the age of 67.
Lang joined April Wine in 1976, coming on board in time for the band's fifth studio album, The Whole World's Goin' Crazy. Released in September of that year, Crazy opened an era of vastly increased sales and attention for the group, which notched its first and only Canadian chart-topper with the LP and scored a Top 10 single with the title track.
The Whole World's Goin' Crazy marked the first of seven studio albums Lang recorded with April Wine — and started a gold and platinum hot streak that included a slew of Top 40 singles, both in their native Canada as well as the U.S. The group's commercial peak in the States came with 1981's The Nature of the Beast, which went platinum on the strength of the huge hit single "Just Between You and Me."
As the '80s wore on, April Wine started to run out of creative steam, and the band announced its split following the release of 1984's Animal Grace. After 1985's contractually obligated Walking Through Fire, recorded by a de facto lineup anchored by Brian Greenway and founder Myles Goodwyn, and augmented with session musicians, the group stayed sidelined until 1992, when they reconvened with Clench back in the lineup.
"My dear friend Steve Lang passed away this weekend," wrote Goodwyn in response to the news. "Steve was a very intelligent guy that used his smarts to do well in the music industry as a player/writer, and later, in the world of finance. He was a nice man, a real gentleman. The last conversation I had with Steve was wonderful, I'm so happy that we had the chance to have had it. My condolences go out to his family. He will sadly be missed by his friends and by fans everywhere."