His longtime pals Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend confirmed the sad news in a Facebook.com post on Thursday (31Mar16).

They wrote, "It is with great sadness that we report the death of Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman, who passed away yesterday age 73. Rest in peace."

The piano player founded his namesake group, Thunderclap Newman, in 1968 with The Who's Pete Townshend and Kit Lambert, as a way to show off the talents of Newman, songwriter/producer John 'Speedy' Keen and musician Jimmy MCCulloch.

They scored a hit with Something in the Air and experienced further success with their only studio album, Hollywood Dream, which was produced by Townshend in 1970. Their other singles included Accidents, The Reason, and Wild Country. They disbanded in 1971.

Newman went on to release a solo project, Rainbow, and performed as a session musician for Roger Ruskin Spear.

He resurrected the Thunderclap Newman group with a new line-up, including Townshend's nephew Josh Townshend, in 2010, and they released a live album, titled Beyond Hollywood.