Rest in Peace, Mikey Welsh

Earlier today, former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh died.

Mikey was with Weezer from 1998-2001. He replaced Matt Sharp during a time of uncertainty and inaction for the band. Within a few years and after a few false starts, Weezer (with Mikey in the fold) released the Green Album in 2001, bringing the band new success after a time when people thought the band had called it quits. He left the band in the summer of 2001, weeks after performing on shows like the Video Music Awards and Saturday Night Live.

After leaving Weezer, Mikey took up painting and started a family. He made a few appearances at some of the band’s live shows and recently joined Facebook, where he shared stories of his early years with the band.

I’ve written before about Mikey’s first year with the band, when Weezer struggled to rediscover themselves after the commercial failure of Pinkerton.  One thing I didn’t write about in that series (and something that wasn’t apparent until later) was how Mikey’s personality brought a new dimension to the band.  He was great with the bass, and his personality was refreshing, bringing out the best in drummer Pat Wilson.  In addition, he was a force to be reckoned with on stage.

My first time seeing him was my first Weezer show in Cleveland in August of 2000. He towered over lead singer Rivers Cuomo and was extremely animated (but without the histrionics of his predecessor).

I don’t know what else to say other than he’ll be missed. One of my favorite Weezer moments (music-related or not) is an interview he and Pat did with Rolling Stone in the fall of 2000. He looked like he was having fun.