Musicians and friends of a popular Napa drummer are mourning his unexpected death Thursday, his 55th birthday.
Jim Lang was born Nov. 22, 1957, said James Patrick Regan, guitarist with the Deadlies, the popular surf-rock trio Lang played with for the past three years.
"We miss him greatly and are shocked and devastated with his untimely death," Regan said. "I believe the coroner is still looking into the exact cause of death. I've heard he had a heart attack.
"As far as I know he had no health problems, didn't smoke, very rarely had a glass of wine and was fairly well known for never using drugs," Regan continued.
Lang, a Napa native who attended St. Apollinaris Catholic School and Justin-Siena High School, was married to "the love of his life, Joan," Regan said.
A longtime landscaper for the city of Larkspur, Lang had begun playing drums while in grade school, Regan said.
"Jim played with the Deadlies for almost exactly three years," said Regan, adding that Lang's first gig with the group was Nov. 28, 2009.
"We played over 200 gigs together and recorded with producers Jack Douglas, Joe Chiccarelli and Jay Messina," Regan continued.
In addition to playing the Uptown Theatre, Napa on Ice, Napa Porchfest and other Napa Valley venues and events, the Deadlies have been the house "cave band" on "Creepy KOFY Movietime" on KOFY TV 20, the house band at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and regular guests of the "Car Czar" on KMAX 31 in Sacramento, Regan said.
At the time of Lang's death on Thanksgiving, "he was looking forward to playing both the Yountville Festival of Lights and the Napa Christmas parade," Regan said.
"He loved Napa."
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