This morning, a representative from the Larimer County coroner's office confirmed that Tickle Me Pink bassist Johnny Schou's death was caused by an accidental opiate overdose. The results of a toxicology report, says Chief Deputy Coroner Diane Fairman, indicate that heroin was found in Schou's bloodstream; no other substances were detected.
A month ago, just days after receiving word of Schou's unexpected passing, I wrote a column expressing a sentiment that I still hold firm today: Regardless of how he died, the fact is that he was taken away at the prime of his life and, to me, ultimately, that's the tragedy. While the circumstances surrounding his death will undoubtedly cast a shadow upon his legacy, I can only hope that detractors can see through to the underlying humanity. Fact is, as rote as it sounds, at the end of the day we're all flawed beings; none of us are infallible.
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As much as I'd like to think that Schou's death will serve as a cautionary tale to other aspiring musicians, we all know that it won't. He isn't the first entertainer to leave the game early on account of drugs, and, sadly, he surely won't be the last. According to those who knew him the best, Schou was not only a gifted player but also a great friend. And when the dust settles, that's most likely how he'll be remembered.-- Dave Herrera