Barrie Masters' death was drug related, coroner concludes

Barrie Masters, lead singer with Eddie and the Hot Rods
Barrie Masters, lead singer with Eddie and the Hot Rods Credit: PA

An inquest has concluded that the death of a rockstar who lived in Southend was drug related.

Barrie Masters, the lead singer of Eddie and The Hot Rods, was found dead in his home in Great Wakering near Southend in Essex on October 1st last year. The 63-year-old was found with a number of 'drug-related' items according to police who spoke at the inquest in Chelmsford, and there'd been no evidence of a third party involvement in the death.

Eddie and the Hot Rods are best known for their 1977 UK hit Do Anything You Wanna Do. The band formed in Canvey Island in 1975 and came to define the pub rock genre.

Coroner's officer Jemma Cook told an inquest in Chelmsford that Masters had abackground of heroin misuse, alcohol abuse, emphysema and COPD.

His medical cause of death was recorded as "intoxication by multiple agents",with police finding no suspicious circumstances.

According to Detective Inspector Paul Ahmed, a concerned neighbour had contacted police on the evening of September 30 as he had not seen Masters for several days.

Officers attended the following morning and they called paramedics and adoctor, but Masters was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.16pm.

Essex's senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray told Masters' son and brother, who attended the hearing:"I've been very interested to read about his career. He was the original singer of the band and he was their only constant member."Masters' son told the hearing: "He's been a scallywag but he was ourscallywag. I've admiration for him. He lived a fantastic life and that's the life helived."

Asked by Ms Beasley-Murray if Maters had ever said he would take his life, hisson replied: "No. It wasn't in his DNA."

The coroner said: "In a situation like this I always commence by considering(a conclusion of) suicide but I would have to be satisfied that he formed theintention, took a deliberate action knowing it would result in his death, butI'm not so I'm not. I've then moved on to consider accident but I'm not going to record accident either. I think the straightforward factual way is to record that Barrie Masters diedas the result of a drug-related death."

Addressing Masters' son and brother in court, Ms Beasley-Murray said: "Notonly have you lost him, but you've had the ordeal of sitting here in thisinquest and you've done that with real dignity. I hope you will look back on the happy memories."

Masters' son said: "The good times 100 per cent out weigh the bad."Spandau Ballet star Gary Kemp led tributes to Masters last year, describing himas a "great front man" whose band "helped usher in punk".

In February 1977, the NME music magazine named Eddie And The Hot Rods the mostpromising emergent act of the year, with the Sex Pistols placing sixth.

Eddie And The Hot Rods released eight studio albums and also had top 40 hitswith singles Teenage Depression and Quit This Town.