LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Chuck E. Weiss, an American singer, songwriter, club owner and fixture of the Los Angeles music scene has died. He was 76.
A bandmate confirmed his passing to Variety, stating that he died on Tuesday morning. A cause of death was not disclosed.
His passing was also confirmed by longtime friend Chuck Morris who said via social media:
“Chuck E Weiss musician, actor, music historian, and sometime comedian has been my sidekick (and sometime room mate ) passed in a Los Ang (sic) hospital . Chuck was leader of legendary underground band Chuckie Weiss and the God Damm Liars, was part owner of the infamous Viper Room along with his friend Johnny Depp, taught a class on music history at Colorado University (one of the first of its kind,) was the Chuckie in Rickie Lee Jones classic hit Chuckie’s in Love, had 2 of his albums produced by buddy Tom Waits, and so important after years of drug abuse became a leader of turning people around from the problems of drug and alcohol excess. His speeches at AA meetings in Los Angeles we’re legendary. Never getting the recognition he deserved in our music community for many, his persona and talent will live forever. His comedic talent came somewhere between Borat and Weird Al Yankovich.”
Morris also detailed how Weiss played a major role on his road to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse in the 1980s, suggesting that Weiss “saved my life” and played a major role in Morris’ continued sobriety.
Raised in Denver, Colorado, Weiss began his career as a drummer in and around Denver before signing on to tour with bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins. By the late 1960s, Weiss had shared a stage with many blues greats such as Muddy Waters, Dr. John, and Willie Dixon.
While living in Denver, Weiss also struck up a friendship with Tom Waits and the two relocated to Los Angeles where they shared a room at the Tropicana Motel and collaborated music, including “Spare Parts I (A Nocturnal Emission)” from Waits seminal 1975 album “Nighthawks at the Diner.”
Waits also named-dropped Weiss in his classic 1976 song “I Wish I Was in New Orleans (In the Ninth Ward)”
And deal the cards roll the dice, if it ain’t that old Chuck E. Weiss,
And Claiborne Avenue, me and you Sam Jones and all
Weiss released his own debut album The Other Side Of Town in 1981 and formed a backing band dubbed The Goddamn Liars, securing a weekly residency at the Los Angeles nightclub the Central.
Weiss later partnered with Johnny Depp to recast the club as The Viper Room.
He released his final album, “Red Beans And Weiss” via Anti- in 2014.