Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In Memoriam-Vince Welnick

June 04, 2006
The Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame is saddened to learn that Arizona has lost a key member of its historic rock music scene. News of keyboardist Vince Welnick's death on June 2nd, at the age of 55, stunned Valley fans, who were looking forward to the upcoming induction of The Tubes into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

Beginning when Welnick was a member of the beloved band the Beans, Phoenix watched as his career ignited in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. The Beans relocated to San Francisco, decided to rename the group the Tubes, and created music history. As a member of the Tubes, Welnick attained success during a period when record companies were deluged with rock and roll hopefuls. Political and social turmoil among America’s youth inspired an enormous wealth of music.

Welnick left his indelible mark on The Tubes, appearing on cuts like "White Punks on Dope", "She's a Beauty" and ""Talk To Ya Later". He was known not only for his deft handling of keyboards but also for his unusually skillful vocal range. His discography includes work with a diverse number of artists, including Todd Rundgren, Dick Dale, Merl Saunders, and Steve Kimock.

Welnick was a member of the Grateful Dead from 1990 to 1995. He took the gig as the Grateful Dead’s keyboard player amid a rash of recycled rumors. Several of the Grateful Dead’s previous keyboard players had died, leading some fans to regard the position as a curse. Welnick, far from being cursed, rose, to fame during an unprecedented rock and roll era.

After Jerry Garcia's death in 1995, he formed his own group, the Missing Man Formation. He was also a coveted guest artist on the "jam band" circuit. Recently Welnick had teamed up with Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart as a featured member of the Mickey Hart Band. Welnick was scheduled to perform this month.

The Tubes are among those voted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame for 2006. The group will be inducted into the hall of fame during a ceremony to be held at a historic Phoenix venue, the Celebrity Theatre. The event will be open to the public. Further information is available at the Arizona Music Hall of Fame.org website.

Vince Welnick leaves behind many long time friends and fans in Arizona. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his loved ones.

By Mariah Fleming


Anonymous said...

Golly Mariah,

Vince was also too young to go, Eddie Black, etc went before the times were able to honor them properly...I Gotta think that they are jammin in a parallel universe and smiling down on us...Huh ? Billy Preston too...who an agent directed me to check out in a club in Hermosa Beach back in 66 for my Goldfinger saloon. I didnt book him cause I didnt think a solo B-3 player could draw a crowd... Darn it.

Joy comes from what was there, sadness from what is gone...We will Boogie forever with what they left to boogie on...

Bob Gately

Mariah Fleming said...

Thanks for the wonderful message. I hope you'll get more involved in AMEHOF goings on. You have so much history from your own experiences that we can share and cherish.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mariah...Nobodys gonna cherish our memorys, only our Action...Rat Now !


Jimmy said...

Sorry to hear about Vince. I got the chance to interview him about 11 years ago, right after he joined the Greatful Dead, and he struck me as a supremely cool dude. (Here's the interview: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/issues/1995-12-05/suntracks.html).
Bummed about Billy Preston, too - mostly bummed out to hear he'd been spending his last years in Scottsdale, and a lot of us didn't even know it. They always say celebrity deaths come in threes - hope all the other rockers getting up in age are taking care of themselves right now!

Mariah Fleming said...

Yeah, it's so sad about Billy Preston too. I'm always finding out about other internationally famous people who live in AZ. John Dixon is a treasure trove of that sort of info and so is Andy Olson...but you know that already I'm sure! (o:

Thanks so much for the link to your article!! You wrote fantastic stuff at the New Times but it must be gratifying for you to have your stuff in ultra nice glossy magazines for a change.

Would it be ok to put a link to your NT Vince Welnick story along with the tribute I wrote for the AMEHOF website? We have the link to his website up but that's all. Your story is really good!! I'm glad you did that for him. I remember those guys from their Bean days...whew, time machine...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Jimmy,If you can get a # on Joyce Mcrea Moore, Sam's ole lady you might get a shot at another fading legend.. Sams a super survivor thanks to Joyce...Bob

Liz Boyle said...

I'll help !

mariah fleming said...

You're the best!! I'm glad you'll get involved...but you are always so open hearted and helpful it doesn't surprise me. Talk to ya soon.