Written by Daniel Gordon at ThirdAge.com:
Former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh was found dead in a Chicago hotel room Saturday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Raffaello Hotel staff reportedly found the 40-year-old ex-musician on the floor of his room around 1 p.m. Saturday. The Chicago Tribune reported that narcotics are the suspected cause of death.
Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak told reporters that police are currently conducting a death investigation. An autopsy was scheduled for Sunday, according to the Tribune.
Welsh performed with Weezer from 1998-2001. According to Weezer’s Website, he left the band after having a nervous breakdown and reinvented himself as a painter.
In 2002, shortly after leaving Weezer, he told the MetroWest Daily News that he felt the need to move on from music, adding that he was much happier as a painter.
“Music is still an important part of my life, but I really have no desire to actually play it,” he told the Daily News.
A tribute to Welsh on the band’s Website says, “It saddens me and the guys in Weezer so much to say that our beautiful, creative, hilarious and sweet friend Mikey Welsh has passed away at the very young age of 40. A unique talent, a deeply loving friend and father, and a great artist is gone, but we will never forget him. His chapter in the Weezer story (’98 – ’01)
was vital, essential, wild, and amazing.”
Current Weezer bassist Scott Shriner posted a note on his Twitter account saying, “Really bummed about Mikey. My heart goes out to his family and friends. Such a talent… he made a special mark on the world with his art.”
Weezer is playing at the Chicago Riot Fest Sunday, a show Welsh was expected to attend.
The post on Weezer’s site ends by saying, “Mikey was planning on attending this show and we were looking forward to seeing him again. As sad as it is to think about, we know Mikey would never want the rock stopped on his account – quite the contrary in fact. While we wont see him, we know he will be there rocking out with us!”