SEATTLE, WA (CelebrityAccess) — James Atkins, a bassist best known for his time with the Seattle-based grunge band Hammerbox, died on February 27th of esophageal cancer. He was 49.
In a post on a GoFundMe page set up to help Atkins defray the costs of his treatment, his former bandmate Carrie Akre wrote:
"Yesterday at 12:45pm James Atkins left us. He heroically fought a mighty difficult battle with esophageal cancer and died peacefully, surrounded by about 10 loved ones, listening to AC/DC, Replacements and Motorhead. James did not feel any pain. Gretta Harley and fellow care-giver, Jennifer Slatten Crane want to recognize the excellent staff at the ICU unit at Swedish who did a fantastic job making these last 24 hours comfortable for James and for his friends. Thank you to all of the people who sent love to James, and who reached out to Jen, Gretta and myself. James was part of a strong community of friends who love and support each other, and we are so grateful to each and every one of you. We have received and appreciate every heartfelt message. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a good one. And he will be missed dearly. A memorial / celebration of James will be planned for early Spring. The support funds you all have contributed will go to pay off the remain hospital bills and funeral services."
Hammerbox made a name for themselves in Seattle in the early 1990s, proving to be a popular regional band. They provided support for King Missile and Therapy? on national and international tours and appeared at festivals, including Endfest, Milwaukee Metal Fest '93 and Rock The Vote.
The group released their eponymously-named debut album on independent label C/Z Records in 1991, and then signed with A&M Records for their followup release "Numb" in 1993.
Atkins left the band in 1994, and participated in other bands, including Roswell Crash, Softy, Shuggie and Zero Down. – Staff Writers