Elton John And Billy Joel Pay Tribute To Bassist Bob Birch
Both Elton John and Billy Joel have posted tributes to Elton's bassist of 20 years, Bob Birch, who died on Wednesday (August 15th) at age 56 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Elton posted on his official website (EltonJohn.com): "I am devastated and shocked at the loss of my friend and fellow musician, Bob Birch. My heart goes out to Bob's wife Michele, his son Jonathan, and his family. To me Bob was family. He had been a member of my band for 20 years; we played over 1,400 concerts together. He was one of the greatest musicians I have ever worked with, and in all our years on the road he never played or sang a bad note. I cannot find the words to describe this tragic death, and how much I loved him. May he rest in peace."
Billy Joel posted on his website (BillyJoel.com) his own tribute to Birch, whom he first played with during his and Elton's first Face To Face Tour in 1994: "I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Bob Birch. He was a brilliant musician, a true professional and a wonderful man to work with. After 16 years on the road together I considered him to be a good friend. I and all the people in my touring organization will miss him very much."
Ultimate Classic Rock posted that in addition to Elton and Billy, over the years Birch had played with Eric Clapton, Keith Emerson, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, and Sting, among others.
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