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Jim Lang, 55, Drummer for the Deadlies: "He Loved Napa"

The sudden death of Jim Lang, drummer for Napa surf-rock trio the Deadlies, on his 55th birthday Thursday has left those who knew him "shocked and devastated," says the group's guitarist.

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."

Did you know Jim Lang? Share your memories in the comments section.

Debbie Murray November 27, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I remember when Jim played with The Michael Spears Band back in the early 80's. What an awesome drummer! I know his family and I am sure his parents, his sister Joanne and his nephew Nick are greiving immensely.
Barrie November 28, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I knew Jim through Creepy Kofy Movietime as I went to the tapings often. I always made a point to sit and talk bands with him. We both shared a love of the band " The Who" He was always smiling and a true pleasure to know. I am still in shock by the news and it is just so hard to believe. I have seen the Deadlies play live and would help sometimes load their gear in and out. He will be missed by friends and fans of the band. I wish his bandmates and family all my best in this difficult time. Jim, You are missed.
Barrie E. November 28, 2012 at 03:04 AM
I knew Jim through Creepy Kofy Movietime as I went to the tapings often. I always made a point to sit and talk bands with him. We both shared a love of the band " The Who" He was always smiling and a true pleasure to know. I am still in shock by the news and it is just so hard to believe. I have seen the Deadlies play live and would help sometimes load their gear in and out. He will be missed by friends and fans of the band. I wish his bandmates and family all my best in this difficult time. Jim, You are missed.
carol November 28, 2012 at 08:27 AM
My brother Kit Carsillo was the drummer for the Michael Spears Band? Jim had another band I believe... I knew him as well and was a great guy.
bucket November 28, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Hi Carol...Wow, your comment took me back to the good old days. Kit, Alfredo's and a Napa long gone....Sorry for you and all that knew and enjoyed both this man and his music.
Joanne Booth November 28, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Jim's whole family,, as well as friends,, are in shock. Kit Carsilo was the drummer for the Michael Spears band. The very last studio recording of the Spears band Jim did play on drums. Jim played in Exxe as well as Elixir before that.
Lynne Cassaday November 28, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Pretty sure Jim Lang was in a band called Exxe, maybe back in the mid 70's. My condolences to his family and friends.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM
There is a Facebook page for a band he was in called Elixer that was active from 1973 to 1978: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Elixer-Archives/113556255368169
Ray Sisemore November 29, 2012 at 06:21 PM
He also was the drummer for a band called EXXE in the late seventies early 80's! Rock on Jimmy!!!
Jim Robinson November 29, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Prior to the band EXXE, he was in the band Topaz.
Jay Silverheels November 30, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Up til 3 years ago, Jim was my drummer in my band, J. Silverheels Band for 10 years. He was the most dedicated band mate ever. I also played with him in Exxe for a couple years in late '76, '77 with Mark Tate, Jim Robinson, Rick Joens, and alittle Sam Neff. Anyone remember the big showdown at Rio? or Rodeo? theater Feb '78 between Exxe and M Spears band. Wow, What a night it was. Lots of good stories, lots of good memories. Maybe he's up there jammin with our favorite rival Michael Spears right now.
Laura Whittington November 30, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Many good memories!! Jim was like a second big brother to me when I was in junior high. He and Jeff Kennedy would pick me up at school and take me to Nuns cheese barn for lunch! I felt like THEE coolest girl in school!! He and my brother Michael let me tag along to many concerts!! I am still in shock he is gone. My heart goes out to his wife and family.
Ashley Mitchell November 30, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Joan, I am so so sorry for your loss. Jim was one of the good guys. I just don't know what to say. So sorry.
Mary December 02, 2012 at 02:38 AM
So sad! He was a dedicated drummer and a very reliable friend. We'll miss you Jim Lang! I'm sure he's playing with the angels. I played in 2 bands with Jim, one in the 80s and one in the late 90s early 00s ... Rock with the angels Jim!!!
Ed Lueger December 02, 2012 at 07:07 AM
I remember going to see EXXE at the Inn Of The Beginning, River theater and many more.Well now he is jamming with all the great, Stevie Ray, and all the other legends. Rock on Jim! We will never forget you.
MsKRenee December 02, 2012 at 11:34 PM
many, many years, while Jim was the drummer for EXXE, he was a friend to me. he was always kind, gentle & had a smile on his face. the years have passed & I am still thankful, as I am remembering his friendship. thank you Jim, my condolences to your family & may you rest in peace
mario vitale December 03, 2012 at 08:35 AM
A true gentleman...not one bad word could be said of a man with a gentle soul R.I.P.
Timmy "The Fonz" Hanf December 04, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I met Jim Lang from my friends Kellie Fuller & Bob St. Laurent at KVYN 99.3 FM Radio almost a year ago when I won The Deadlies Christmas CD, I listened to the CD for Christmas, Jim's memory will always be with Bob & the rest of the Deadlies as they remember his memory being there for his friends and most importantly his family and loved ones. God Bless Jim Lang, you'll be missed.
Rich Young December 18, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I worked with a Band that Jim drummed for in the late 80's called X-men. He was a great guy and an awesome musician. Although I haven't seen him since '90 and I didn't know him long, it is a great shock to me that he's left us. He will be sorely missed.
Kymba January 14, 2013 at 08:46 PM
I was unaware that Jim had past. It really blows my mind. He was always a gentleman and an excellent drummer. I have worked with him in several of his musical endevours through the 80's and upward. He will be sorely missed R.I.P Jimmy.
Clark A. Blasdell February 06, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Hi Laura, Me and my EXXE days go way back to when Jim Lang, introduced himself and his not yet named Band EXXE through the great Sonoma Harp player. Norton Buffalo (who is also recently deceased in 2011): Mike Whittington, Mark Tate, Sam Neff, Rick Joens - later also Henry Hewitt. I am sorry I did not hear about Jim's passing earlier. Just heard today. I have not kept up with many in the former Band EXXE: I was only their Manager and just loved all the things we did as a great young Band of youngsters who when I met them told me that they played original music, like from Led Zepplin and AC/DC - with the introductory words "If it's too loud, you're too old, you better leave ...Sorry to hear and blessings to Jim's Family. I'm still in Novato, turmed 69 this past December:: Clark Blasdell, My email address is: clark@nfh.org 2/5/13
Joanne March 18, 2013 at 05:56 AM
It's been over three months and I am still in shock that my brother has passed away. He had many great friends that played in the bands (Elixir, Topaz, Exxe, X-Men J. Silverheels and the Deadlies} I think that I have all of them!!! It was nice talk to them, at that sad time. You are part of our family. I do remember the shows that Exxe played with the Micheal Spears Band because I dated and married Rhino. Jim was a great drummer and the dedication he had shows by the respect of those who knew him, as well as, worked with him.

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