Mikey Welsh, 1971-2011
According to the official Mikey Welsh Facebook page, musician and artist Mikey Welsh (Weezer, Homie, Juliana Hatfield, Verbena, Special Goodness) passed away unexpectedly earlier today. Welsh was 40-years-old.
Welsh was best known for replacing bassist Matt Sharp in Weezer from 1998 through 2001. Welsh exited the band after experiencing a mental breakdown--later to be revealed due to drug usage and some then-undiagnosed mental conditions. Welsh attempted suicide and checked into a psychiatric hospital in August 2001.
A photo from Welsh's Facebook page uploaded August 13, 2011.
He told Rock Salt Plum in 2007:
It's a long story. I'll try to slim it down a bit. Basically, a lifetime of doing drugs and being undiagnosed as having bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder finally caught up with me when I was 30-years-old. At the beginning of a three month European tour with Weezer, I started slowly falling apart. Without getting too graphic, by the time the tour was winding up, my weight had gone down to about 140-pounds [I'm 6'2"] and mentally completely wiped out. When I returned to the states, my family had made plans for me to see a psychiatrist in Boston. first though, we had to play a few dates around the U.S., and perform on the Tonight Show (which ended up being my last performance with Weezer).
By the time I got to Boston, I was having a complete nervous breakdown. It ended with a severe suicide attempt (an overdose). I was found and rushed to the hospital where I had come to within minutes of my heart completely stopping. I was in a coma for a few days, and woke up in a lock-down psychiatric ward. Uugghh. This is too much. To answer the rest of your question, it usually seems that artists are more likely to suffer from mental illness and addiction, at least the great ones. There is obviously a reason for this. The "tortured" artist really is the oldest cliché, but then again clichés are always based in truth. I'm a romantic, so I eat it all up.
Welsh then retired from music to focus on a career in art around 2002. Welsh is survived by his wife and two sons.
ETA, 11:40 P.M.: Eerie ominous tweet from Welsh, dated September 26:
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