John Regan, who played bass in Ace Frehley’s band Frehley’s Comet, has died at the age of 71.
Regan’s wife Cathy Merring-Regan confirmed the news on Facebook last week (April 7), via a post shared by a family friend. “It is with the greatest sorrow and sadness that I let you all know John passed away this afternoon. So many people have posted messages of love and condolences on his phone.
“One of his favorite quotes was ‘All that you can take with you is that which you’ve given away’. From reading your messages, I know he gave much away and so much love was sent to him. He passed suddenly, but that was his wish.”
Since then, numerous musicians and others have shared tributes online, including Peter Frampton, who wrote: “There might only be a handful, if that, of people who come into your world and truly enrich your life. I have lost one of my closest buddies. He certainly enriched my life because of the person and the great player he was. John Regan was the best of us.”
There might only be a handful, if that, of people who come into your world and truly enrich your life. I have lost one of my closest buddies. He certainly enriched my life because of the person and the great player he was. John Regan was the best of us. He went out of his way pic.twitter.com/IEZ1Vi4CoR
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) April 8, 2023
Regan was born in 1951 and began his career playing bass for Chip Taylor in the early ’70s. The following decade, he played for Frampton on releases such as ‘Rise Up’, ‘Breaking All The Rules’ and ‘The Art of Control’, as well as for Billy Idol, and Mick Jagger and David Bowie’s cover of ‘Dancing in the Street’.
In the ’80s, Regan joined KISS guitarist Ace Frehley’s solo project Frehley’s Comet, playing with them until 1988. He also recorded with David Lee Roth, The Rolling Stones and Bonnie Tyler, and was part of the band Four By Fate, which saw him reunite with former Frehley’s Comet co-frontman Tod Howarth.
Regan also served as the parks commissioner for the village of Wappingers Falls in the ’90s, and began co-hosting a local radio show called Café Italia out of Poughkeepsie in 2014.
See more tributes to the bassist below.
…..I started this over and over, I can’t capture everything I’m feeling..By now most all of you know of John Regan’s…
Peter Frampton/ Frehley’s Comet bassist John Regan has passed.
I’m shocked and saddened.
He was an amazing human being.
Love & condolences to his family, band mates and all who knew him pic.twitter.com/idktdrZqDG
— Mitch Lafon (@mitchlafon) April 7, 2023
Sad news about the loss of bassist John Regan today. We got to tour together in Australia in 2017. He was a fantastic musician and wonderful person. (John in in red next to me at head of the table) RIP John @FourByFate pic.twitter.com/xfKKugs7rW
— Bruce Kulick (@brucekulick) April 7, 2023
Forever in our hearts John Regan ❤️ Treated everyone like family and has left behind a legacy. Thank you for everything…
I am VERY sad about the sudden passing of John Regan. (10/28/51 – 4/7/23) He just posted on FB earlier today.
I saw him live twice, w/Frehley’s Comet in 1987 & w/Peter Frampton in 1994.
— T-Bone Mathley 🎙 (@TBonesPrimeCuts) April 8, 2023
Shocked to hear John Regan has passed away. I shared so many great times & memories with John from when I work with @ace_frehley . He was a massive part of those 80s Ace albums in many ways. More on radio Monday. But condolences to his family, fans, friends.
— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) April 7, 2023
John Regan was the single sweetest person I’ve ever known. As much a titan of a human being as he was a musician. We are so much more because you lived, John. Rest in peace, brother ❤️ https://t.co/ZJYUoEDKq9
— Damon Johnson (@DamonJOfficial) April 9, 2023
Sad news. We have lost a Rock Soldier. R.I.P. John Regan. https://t.co/jVFpCI9tVT
— Mark Strigl (@talkingmetal) April 7, 2023