Chuck E. Weiss, a longtime presence in the Los Angeles music scene and the subject of a Top 5 hit for Rickie Lee Jones, died Tuesday at the age of 76. Details of his death were not immediately available, but friends said he died after a long time. diseases.
A staple performer on Mondays at The Central nightclub on the Sunset Strip for 11 years with his band, The Goddamn Liars, Weiss has convinced his friend Johnny Depp to help him revive him when times get tough. It has become the Viper Room, one of the city’s most fashionable concert halls. He also partnered with the Kibitz Room, an offshoot of Canter’s Deli on Fairfax Avenue, where a booth was named in his honor for his presence at the venue’s frequent jams.
A wave on social media came as news of Weiss’ death spread. “Please let people know it was more than a song title,” said Sheryl Northrop, the publicist for two of her albums.
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Weiss did not like to travel by plane, so he limited his activities to Southern California. But he achieved national fame on the debut album by songwriter and friend Jones in 1979.
Jones and her boyfriend Tom Waits were friends with Weiss and frequently dated him at the legendary punk motel The Tropicana in Los Angeles. Weiss disappeared for a while, but then phoned Waits to tell him that he had moved to his hometown of Denver because he had fallen in love with a cousin there.
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Waits reportedly hung up the phone and said, “Chuck E. is in love.” Jones loved the sound of it and wrote the song which went to No.4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1979, making it his biggest hit. The song’s ending, however, changes the object of Chuck E.’s affection towards Jones herself, which it never did.
As a performer, Weiss was known for his eclectic mix of rock’n’roll and his ability to squeeze everything from poetry to zydeco into his music. An accomplished leader, he was a master at turning a club room into an instant party.
Born in Denver to parents with record-breaking history, Weiss met blues legend Lightnin ‘Hopkins at a local nightclub. His talent as a drummer impressed Hopkins, who took him on tour, allowing him to perform with blues giants like Muddy Waters, Howlin ‘Wolf and Dr. John, among others.
Weiss later became a disc jockey on alternative rock station KFML-FM in Denver in the early 1970s.
Leaving the Denver scene behind, Weiss headed for Los Angeles. His first album was an EP, The other side of town, was released in 1981.
Weiss contributed to the LA Ya Ya compilation of Los Angeles blues artists and appeared on alternative rock band P, along with Depp and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers.
From there, Weiss released his first full album, 1999’s Extremely cool, featuring contributions from Tony Gilkyson and Waits, the latter being the co-producer. The opening track, “Devil With Blue Suede Shoes”, was produced by Depp and was used in Depp’s film. The brave.
The Follow Up Album, 2001’s Old Souls and Wolf Tickets, was highlighted by a track featuring Willie Dixon. In 2006, Weiss released the album 23 & Stout.
Steaming as a teenager, Weiss wrote and recorded “Anthem for Old Souls” for the compilation album Son of the Rogues gallery, then came out with 2014 Red beans and Weiss on the Anti label.
In addition to his musical adventures, Weiss appeared in an episode of the series in 2002 Gilmore Girls as the owner of a record store in New York. He also made cameos in two 1990’s Married with children episodes, playing a homeless, and also appeared in the series Brotherly Love and My wife and children.
Information on the survivors was not immediately available. Friends are in the early stages of developing memorial plans, but no details have been released.
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