Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bassist Mikey Welsh Passes On

Mikey Welsh, a former bassist for the power pop band Weezer and an artist, passed on 8 October 2011 at the age of 40. The cause was suspected to be a drug overdose.

Mikey Welsh was born in 20 April 1971 in Syracuse, New York. He started his musical career in the Boston, Massachusetts area, playing for bands ranging from Heretix to slower. He toured with Juliana Hatfield as a bassist. In 1997 he joined a side project of Weezer front man Rivers Cuomo, The Rivers Cuomo Band. After bassist Matat Sharp left Weezer in 1998, he joined the band as its bassist. He played on the band's album Weezer (also known as The Green Album) and toured with them into 2000. While Weezer was on hiatus he played with Verbena and The Special Goodness. He also contributed to Juliana Hatfield's album Juliana's Pony: Total System Failure.

In 2001 Mikey Welsh left Weezer due to what was later revealed to be a nervous breakdown. Bassist Scott Shriner was hired to take his place. In late 2001 and early 2002 he tried to return to music, joining the band The Kickovers for a brief period. It was not much later that he retired from music and moved to Vermont to be an artist. Over the years he had 13 exhibitions of his art. His work would be featured on a snowboard and he designed the cover to Twin Berlin's debut album.

Mr. Welsh would reunite with Weezer twice. The first time he played bass on the song "Hash Pipe" at a show in Essex Junction, Vermont in 2010. This year he played bass on "Undone" at a show in New York.

As a bassist Mikey Welsh fit Weezer perfectly. He provided their songs with a powerful bass line necessary to  the genre of power pop. Indeed, it is arguable that the song "Hash Pipe" from The Green Album would take a bassist of Mr. Welsh's calibre. He was also a very talented artist, working in abstracts. He was particularly gifted when it came to the use of very vivid colours. Both as a bassist and as an artist, the world lost a very talented individual with Mikey Welsh's passing.

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