Grandaddy bassist, founding member dies

Some very sad news this morning from RS. Grandaddy skirt around the boundaries of americana but are basically a great songwriting band in the vein of Mercury Rev or Flaming Lips. They report: “Kevin Garcia, the bassist and co-founder of the influential Modesto, California alt-rock group Grandaddy, died after suffering a massive stroke Tuesday. Grandaddy confirmed Garcia’s death in a post on Facebook.  “There are no accurate words to express what we need to,” the band said. “We are absolutely shattered to say that we lost our friend and band mate Kevin Garcia early this afternoon … We were all able to say goodbye to him and he was surrounded by his closest friends and family here in Modesto. Kevin started playing with Grandaddy when he was fifteen. He was an actual angel. He navigated life with a grace, a generosity and a kindness that was utterly unique. And contagious. He is loved so deeply by so many.” 

Garcia is survived by his wife, two children, parents, grandmother and brothers. The band has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with coming expenses.

Singer/guitarist Jason Lytle formed Grandaddy in 1992 with Garcia on bass and Aaron Burtch on drums. The group released their debut album, Under the Western Freeway, in 1997, drawing critical acclaim for their blend of Nineties alternative rock with spaced-out psychedelia. Their 2000 follow-up, The Sophtware Slump, was equally celebrated and remains a touchstone concept record about humanity and technology at the outset of the 21st century.

Grandaddy would release two more LPs – 2003’s Sumday and 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat – as well as a handful of compilations before splitting up in 2006. However, the group reunited in 2012 for a handful of live dates and eventually entered the studio to record their first album in 11 years, Last Place, which was released in March.

Grandaddy are scheduled to return to the road in support of Last Place May 7th in Vancouver, Canada. However, the band did not say how Garcia’s passing will affect their current plans. At the end of their Facebook post, they wrote, “We’ll have more to say in the days ahead. Right now the four of us are grieving together.”

Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield is the long-suffering editor of Americana UK, conceiving the idea in a dark room in 2001, although he ran out of words to personally review anything in about 2007.

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