Bob Birch, Elton John’s Bass Player Dead at 56
Bob Birch, a bassist who played with Elton John for 20 years, was found dead this morning of an apparent suicide. The 56-year-old died of what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Reports that Birch's body was found around the corner from his home in Los Angeles with a single bullet wound in his head. Elton John's website confirmed the news with a statement: "We are very sad to report the sudden death today of Bob Birch, Elton's bass player and backing vocalist, in Los Angeles. Bob had been a member of the Elton John band since 1992, the longest-serving bassist in Elton's touring band." In addition to Sir Elton, the longtime sideman performed and recorded with a seemingly endless list of star musicians, including Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Cher, Tina Turner, Sting and the Backstreet Boys. Among his many credits with John, he performed on "Candle in the Wind 97," the tribute song to Princess Diana. He is survived by his wife, Michelle, and son, Jonathan.