Chi Cheng, Deftones bassist, gone at 42
Many in music world are reeling this morning over the loss of Chi Cheng, the masterful Deftones bassist who passed away yesterday at the age of 42. Word of Cheng's passing was posted on OneLoveForChi.com, a site that was established shortly after a 2008 car accident that left him comatose and maintained over the years to keep fans updated on his condition and help raise funds for Cheng and his family. Keep reading for more on Cheng's life and his tragically premature death.
Cheng was taken to the emergency room yesterday morning, and while he was being treated, his heart simply stopped. "He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear," writes Mama J (aka Jeanne Marie Cheng) on OneLoveForChi.com. "He fought the good fight.You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone."
Musically, Cheng was a passionate, influential player with a fierce playing style that also reflected an ability to lay down a subtle yet distinctive groove perhaps best heard on songs like "Change (In The House Of Flies)". Off stage, by all accounts, Cheng, a practicing Buddhist, was kind, thoughtful and compassionate person who championed a number of causes from PETA to WEAVE, and he dedicated both his time and money to working with homeless teens in his hometown of Sacramento.
Prior to joining the Deftones in 1988, Cheng was studying literature at Sacramento State College when he answered an ad Chino Moreno and company posted looking for a bass player. Cheng went on to play bass with the band on five Deftones albums, beginning with Adrenaline, the outfit's 1995 debut, and culminating with Saturday Night Wrist in 2006.
Despite the fact that the Deftones eventually soldiered on, enlisting good friend Sergio Vega of Quicksand to assume bass duties, Cheng was never far from his bandmates' minds as he endured to recover from his injuries. This past October when the Deftones performed at the Fillmore, the group requested a five dollar donation to the Chi Ling Cheng Special Needs Trust from media outlets in return for being credentialed for the show.
Cheng's passing is being mourned worldwide this morning by friends, family and members of the entire metal community, all of whom have been offering up condolences and tributes on Twitter (#RIPCHICHENG) since the news first broke yesterday. An impromptu candlelight vigil is being planned for this evening at 6:30 (PDT) at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacremento.
Continue on for the full statement from Mama J posted on OneLoveForChi.com and for a reaction from some of the metal community on Twitter
"Our dearest Family, (April 14, 2013)
This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing.
I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you.
He was taken to the emegency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.
He fought the good fight.You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone.
I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi site and any other information may not be reliable.
If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi's son, Gabriel in your prayers. It is so hard to let go.
With great love and "Much Respect!" Mom J (and Chi)"
We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Chi Cheng, bassist of Deftones. Rest in Peace Chi fb.me/2ikJGx70M— In Flames OFFICIAL (@InFlames_SWE) April 14, 2013
R.I.P. Chi Cheng #Deftones— Lamb Of God (@Lambofgodband) April 14, 2013
R.I.P. Chi Cheng of the Deftones (July 15, 1970 - April 13, 2013). This is photo from a benefit for Chi that... fb.me/1mitOoWQ3— Testament (@testamentband) April 14, 2013
RIP Chi. Awful news. Condolences to the Cheng family and @deftones.... from the McKagan's.— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) April 14, 2013
Just heard that Chi from the Deftones passed away. That's really sad news. I didn't really know him. But he was an awesome bass player. RIP— Slash (@Slash) April 14, 2013
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.