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- Posted on Oct 9th 2011 7:00AM by Jason MacNeil
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The news comes nearly two weeks after a Sept. 26 tweet in which Welsh described a premonition he'd had about his own death.
"Dreamt I died in Chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep)," he wrote. "Need to write my will today."
There has been no official word regarding the cause of death, but according to the Chicago Tribune, the rocker is thought to have died of a drug overdose.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that Mikey Welsh passed away unexpectedly today," a post on Welsh's Facebook page read late Saturday evening. "He will forever be remembered as an amazing father, artist and friend. May he rest in peace."
Welsh's former bandmates took to Twitter soon after to pay tribute.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the awful news, our friend and fellow weez rocker @mikeywelsh71 has passed away," Weezer tweeted after hearing the news. "We love u Mikey."
"Rest in peace Mikey Welsh, you deserve it," drummer Patrick Wilson tweeted shortly thereafter.
Born in Syracuse, N.Y., Welsh got his start playing in several Boston-area groups prior to joining a side project of Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo in 1997. Welsh joined Weezer officially after original bassist Matt Sharp left the group the following year.
Welsh appeared on Weezer's 2001 self-titled third album, commonly referred to as the 'Green Album,' before leaving the group later that year due to the rigors of touring and a nervous breakdown. He would be replaced by current bassist Scott Shiner. However, Welsh returned to the group for a special one-off performance on July 29 of this year, performing 'Undone' with Weezer at a New York show. He had also performed with Wilson's side project, the Special Goodness.
On the band's website, Weezer associate Karl Koch penned an additional Welsh tribute, calling him a "unique talent, a deeply loving friend and father, and a great artist."
"Mikey was never one to shy away from the absurd, dangerous or strange, and he did so with a gusto few others had," Koch added. "No one had quite the stage presence of Mikey, nor have there been many who pulled the types of shenanigans he did at shows. If it rocked, he had to try it -- and he always found a way to pull it off."
Welsh had also become an accomplished artist, posting a string of drawings for sale last week, including one titled 'Mama's little pills spilled all over the floor.' Earlier this month, Welsh tweeted about how he was looking forward to taking his first vacation in a long time, heading first to Nashville and then Chicago.
"Just to clarify...nothing horrible happened to me in Nashville...besides the fact that my hotel was right next to c.mt (Country Music Television) headquarters," Welsh wrote on Oct. 4 on his Facebook page. "It looked kind of like the 9th circle of hell..."
He also said he was happy to be in Chicago and "of course Sat. being the day the ol' weez will rock...lots o' fun to be had." The band is scheduled to play the Chicago RiotFest on Sunday.