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- Posted on Dec 30th 2011 2:15PM by Jason MacNeil
Danny DeGennaro, a guitarist with the Grateful Dead-inspired group Kingfish, died Wednesday evening in a suburban Philadelphia home. He was 56.
According to ABC News, DeGennaro was found dying in a Levittown home with a gunshot wound to the chest. A tenant living in the basement of the building -- who has been questioned and is not considered a suspect -- found the musician and ran across the street to neighbor Nick Wilson for help.
DeGennaro received chest compressions from paramedics before taking him to St. Mary Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead, Phillyburbs.com reports. "We have a suspicious death," Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said. "It does involve a gunshot wound to the chest. We're obviously treating it as a suspicious death."
An accomplished musician, DeGennaro is perhaps best known for his tenure in Kingfish, a group formed in 1973 that gained attention the following year when Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir joined the group. DeGennaro joined Kingfish in 1979 and performed alongside Weir. The band released its last studio album in 1999 and has not been active in recent years. DeGennaro last played with Kingfish in 2010 on their Live and Kicking tour.
The guitarist formed Danny D and The Torpedoes in the '70s, and also performed with Billy Squier and the late Clarence Clemons. Venerable funk guitarist T.J. Tindall and Parliament Funkadelic's Michael Hampton played with the deceased's own Danny DeGennaro Band.
"The entire remaining members of the Danny DeGennaro Band, although we are devastated, emotionally lost and shocked, want to thank all of you for your devotion and kindness," the group posted on their Facebook page earlier today. "We are discussing tributing (sic) Dan in the manner he would have loved."