Chuck E. Weiss, Songwriter and Fixture of L.A. Music Scene, Dies at 76


Chuck E. Weiss, the musician who helped launch the Viper Room with Johnny Depp and was a fixture of Los Angeles’ music scene for many years, died Tuesday. He was 76.

His bandmate Jimmy Wood confirmed his dying, telling Variety, “Chuck E. Weiss left the room yesterday morning around 8:30. JJ Holiday was by his side. He was one of a kind and certainly made Los Angeles a better city!”

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Holiday posted on Facebook on the web page for his band, the Imperial Crowns, writing, “All of us who remain must feel very lucky to have been invited to his one-of-a-kind party too. He means a lot and the very most to so many of us.”

Known for his friendship with Tom Waits and for being the topic of Rickie Lee Jones’ hit track “Chuck E.’s In Love,” Weiss spent his profession as a L.A. scene-maker, releasing uniquely rhythmic music himself that teetered between blues and rock.

Weiss acquired his begin in music rising up in Denver, Colo., the place his dad and mom owned a document retailer. Despite turning into identified primarily as a songwriter and vocalist, Weiss started as a drummer, assembly blues singer Lightnin’ Hopkins and finally occurring tour with him, the place he performed alongside legends like Muddy Waters and Dr. John.

While nonetheless residing in Denver, Weiss turned acquainted with Waits, and the 2 struck up a friendship and writing partnership. Weiss co-wrote Waits’ track “Spare Parts I (A Nocturnal Emission),” which appeared on his 1975 album “Nighthawks at the Diner.” Weiss and Waits finally determined to maneuver to L.A., and the 2 lived in West Hollywood’s Tropicana Motel, a storied hangout for rockers like Joan Jett and the Ramones. While there, Jones penned the track “Chuck E.’s In Love” impressed by Weiss, whereas she was romantically concerned with Waits. “He sure has acquired this kinda cool / And inspired sorta jazz when he walks / Where’s his jacket and his old blue jeans?/ Well this ain’t healthy, it is some kinda clean,” Jones croons on the monitor.

Weiss launched his first album, “The Other Side of Town,” in 1981 through Select Records. The album accommodates the guitar-driven reduce “Gina,” amongst different demos. Weiss then shaped his band, the G-d Damn Liars, and they started a weekly gig performing at the Sunset Strip membership the Central. When the venue threatened to go underneath after 11 years, Weiss partnered together with his pal and musical collaborator Depp to revamp it because the Viper Room, which turned a well-known L.A. venue, in addition to infamous as the location of River Phoenix’s dying in 1993.

Weiss’ second venture and first full-length album, “Extremely Cool,” was launched in 1999. The document featured manufacturing from Waits and Tony Gilkyson, and Waits appeared on a number of tracks. Weiss adopted it up with “Extremely Cool, Old Souls and Wolf Tickets” in 2001, which leaned heavier on the blues facet of Weiss’ musical palette. Another album, “23rd & Stout,” adopted in 2007. Weiss’ newest launch was 2013’s “Red Beans & Weiss” through Anti Records, which featured manufacturing from each Waits and Depp.

Weiss additionally made cameos in a number of tv reveals, enjoying a New York City document retailer proprietor within the “Gilmore Girls” episode “Lorelai’s Graduation Day,” in addition to showing on “Married… With Children,” “Brotherly Love” and “My Wife and Kids.”

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