Elton John Bassist Bob Birch Found Dead: In what is being reported as an apparent suicide, longtime Elton John bassist Bob Birch was found dead in Los Angeles yesterday as the result of a gunshot wound to his head. His body was discovered near his San Fernando home.
In a brief statement earlier today, Elton John commented: “I am devastated and shocked at the loss of my friend and fellow musician, Bob Birch. My heart goes out to Bob’s wife Michele, his son Jonathan and his family. To me Bob was family. He had been a member of my band for 20 years; we played over 1400 concerts together. He was one of the greatest musicians I have ever worked with, and in all our years on the road he never played or sang a bad note.
I cannot find the words to describe this tragic death, and how much I loved him. May he rest in peace.”
Birch, who was 56, joined Elton’s band in 1992 when the legendary piano player needed a bass player for a tour to promote his hit album “The One”. In his career Birch also played with other prominent artists as well, including Keith Emerson, Billy Joel, Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton and many others.
Bob Birch’s death is not the first time John has lost a bass-playing member of his band by premature death; Sir Elton’s original low end man Dee Murray died at 45 years old after a battle with skin cancer and subsequent stroke in 1992.
Los Angeles County Assistant Coroner Ed Winter also reported that no suicide note had been found and there were no apparent signs of drug use linked to Birch’s death.