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RIP: Wes Wehmiller

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Ian Perge, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    It is with great sadness that I must report that L.A. studio bassist Wes Wehmiller passed away in his sleep on Saturday, January 30th. The cause of his death is as of yet unknown.

    Born Sept. 12, 1971, John Wesley Wehmiller grew up near Philadelphia. After attending high school in Delaware, he was accepted at the Berklee School of Music in Boston where he completed two years before leaving school for the recording world in L.A. In Los Angeles, he played in several local bands including his own, "I, Claudius" and did various studio work.

    A highlight of his career was his gig as Duran Duran's touring bassist from 1997 to 2001, including the opportunity to perform all over the world and appear on many television shows, including VH-1's Storytellers and Hard Rock Live as well as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

    Besides being a close friend of guitarist Warren Cuccurullo of Duran Duran/Frank Zappa/Missing Persons fame, Wes was his bassist for many solo shows, with his work appearing on Warren's Road Rage CD. He also took part in the 2001 and 2003 Missing Persons tours. In the Spring of 2003 he recorded rhythm bass guitar and background vocals for bassist Bryan Beller's solo debut View, and in June of '04 reprised his role for the only live performance of the "Bryan Beller Band" to date, which performed nearly the entire album in sequence as well as covers of John John Patitucci's "Backwoods" and John Scofield's "Blackout". It is a must hear bootleg, of which a track ("Get Things Done") can be sampled here.

    On January 23rd of this year, he and drummer Joe Travers (Duran Duran, Z, current Zappa "Vaultmeister") performed with Dweezil Zappa at the Los Angeles NAMM Convention and there were plans for the three of them to tour. Wes and Joe also performed with guitarist Mike Keneally back in December, fulfilling a longstanding wish for Wes.

    Wes was a skilled photographer and an articulate writer. He kept himself in prime physical condition, enjoying ice hockey, cycling and other fitness activities.

    From Warren Cuccurullo's site, Warren has chosen "Ordinary World" from the Road Rage CD to offer as a free download in honor of Wes. This recording was made at a Tower Records in-store performance in March of 1996, Wes' third show with Warren. Back in September of 1997, Wes had this to say about it: "That's pretty neat. I do a lot of playing on that. I have a tape of us doing it at Tower Records, and it's crazy. He does a verse and a prechorus and then a chorus, and then he solos on the chorus for like three hours. But he let me do a melody part."

    You can see a glimpse of Wes' intelligence and articulation in an interview with Activebass.com here as well as many more audio and video clips under the Interviews and Clips link. Goodbye Wes. You will be missed.

  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    how sad

    way too young :(
  3. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Man, so young. :(
  4. Flanders


    Oct 30, 2002
    Reno, NV
    That sucks. I turn 35 today, and I can't imagine being done already. I guess you have to play everyday like it's your last, because it just might be...

    R.I.P. Wes
  5. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    33 Wow! Thats young.

    It's really too bad. Sounds like he had so much going for him.

  6. tomtom


    Jun 17, 2002
    Philthy, PA
    I heard the news earlier today. Such an incredible loss.

    I've been friends with Wes since high school (we were in some bands and played a bit thoughout his Berklee and LA years). I have to say that this guy was a huge reason that I became a bassist. I remember noodling away on his steinberger (it was the 80's folks) in his bassment while he played guitar or drums or whatever.

    An amazing musician, brilliant mind and very funny guy he was. He could truly blow minds on the bass. He will be missed.