Drugs Suspected in Weezer Bassist's Death

Band still slated to play Riot Fest Sunday night

Former Weezer bass player Mikey Welsh, 40, was found dead in a Chicago hotel room Saturday afternoon, officials said.

A drug overdose is suspected as the cause, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner. An autopsy Sunday was inconclusive, pending toxicology tests.

Staff at the Raffaello Hotel, at 201 E. Delaware Pl., reportedly found Welsh on the floor of his hotel room after he was late checking out Saturday afternoon.

The band, which is scheduled to headline the Riot Fest show at the Congress Theater in Chicago Sunday night, posted a message about death on their Facebook fan page. It reads:

Dear friends and fans,

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.

Mikey was never one to shy away from the absurd, dangerous or strange, and he did so with a gusto few others had. No one had quite the stage presence of Mikey, nor have there been many who pulled the types of shenanigans he did at shows. If it rocked, he had to try it - and he always found a way to pull it off.

When he emerged from his nervous breakdown that spelled his exit from the rock n roll world, he took on a new role as an astonishing and pure visual artist. It was a glorious flowering of a talent he always possessed, but he had chosen to rock out first, paint later. Our more recent meet-ups at weezer shows, including recently at the Weezer/Flaming Lips show at Jones Beach were always a great time. We will miss him terribly. Our deepest heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends. The world has lost a truly one of a kind guy.


The band's note indicated they would still be playing their show at the Congress Theater later Sunday.

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