Former Dead keyboard player Vince Welnick passed away at age 55 yesterday according to a posting on his website. You can visit The Dead's website for more details. Here's the message that they Dead released on their site:
"The wheel is turning almightily fast. Life is loss, but our times have turned sorrowful indeed. It is with very heavy hearts that we must tell you that Vince Welnick passed away today, June 2, 2006. His service to and love for the Grateful Dead were heart-felt and essential. He had a loving soul and a joy in music that we were lucky to share. We grieve especially for his widow Lori, his sister Nancy, and the rest of his family.After Brent Mydland died in 1990, Bruce Hornsby sat in for a while on keys before Welnick became their full-time keyboard player for the Grateful Dead. He played with them during the rest of the 1990s until the band broke up in 1995 after Jerry Garcia died.
Our Grateful Dead prayer for the repose of his spirit:
May the four winds blow him safely home."
Welnick was an original member of The Tubes and also played with Todd Rundgren. Welnick was supposedly kicked out of Bob Weir's band Ratdog after he OD'd on the tour bus.
I went to a Dead show at the Omni in Atlanta in 1994. We had excellent seats, just off to the side a few feet by Vince. When the Dead took the stage, my buddy Stein yelled out to Vince Welnick, "Hey Vince! Play Crazy Fingers!"
And you know what? They did.