Vince Welnick, 1951-2006

VinceVince Welnick, who joined the Grateful Dead in 1990, on living with the knowledge that the three keyboard players who preceded him had died:

"A lot of people ask about that and my stock answer is that I am aware of the fact that you could die doing this job, but I was somewhat dying of boredom before the job came up so I thought I'd take my chances."

Dead at 55.

The San Francisco Chronicle's obit quotes band publicist Dennic McNally, who calls Welnick "a good soul, a very sweet guy," a classically trained pianist who practiced at his Boesendorfer for hours a day.

A San Jose Mercury account quotes a person in Welnick's home as saying the Friday death appeared to have been a suicide. In an interview with the Vermont Review, the ex-Tubes keyboard player described his battle with depression after the 1995 death of Jerry Garcia.

A commenter at Suburban Guerrilla has found a YouTube moment -- Welnick, Garcia and Bob Weir singing "The Star Spangled Banner" at a San Francisco Giants game in 1993. Talk about letting your freak flag fly. They nailed it.

jay lassiter
Posted 06/03/2006 09:04:41 PM

ugh, feel like i got hit in the stomach. this is the first i learned of this.

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