Just received word that Johnny Schou, bassist for Fort Collins-based power-pop act Tickle Me Pink, was found dead this morning at his home at the age of 22. Prior to passing away, the four-stringer, a 2005 graduate of Ft. Collins High School, also worked as an assistant engineer at the Blasting Room under Bill Stevenson, pitching in on records by Propagandhi, the Descendents (Stevenson's band), the Casualties and Rise Against. The cause of Schou's death is unknown at this time, and no further details have been made available.
In a cruel twist of fate, this morning's tragic news comes at a time when the band should otherwise be celebrating. Madeline, the group's eagerly anticipated Wind-up Records debut, hit stores today, and to mark the occasion, Tickle Me Pink was scheduled to stop by Independent Records this evening for an in-store appearance. Instead, the members are now faced with mourning the loss of their fallen bandmate.
The Fort Collins-based outfit, which just performed over the weekend at the Denver stop of the Warped Tour, was also due to embark on a full slate of upcoming dates with Finch and Scary Kids Scaring Kids beginning on July 18. We'll keep you posted as more details emerge, including dates and times for services or planned memorials.
Update: KTCL, who was instrumental in bringing the band to Wind-up's attention, is urging fans to offer their condolences on the act's MySpace page, which has already been flooded with comments, and to bring candles, cards and flowers to Independent Records on Colfax tonight at 5 p.m.
"I'm digging through my brain trying to find words to describe what's happened this morning," said Nerf, KTCL's program director, in an e-mail blast to listeners earlier today. "I'm choking on the tragedy, and the bitter irony with everything I can think of to say. On the day that the world was to be exposed to the brilliance of four young men from Ft. Collins one of those young men is no longer with us. Johnny Schou of Tickle Me Pink was found by his band-mate Sean this morning dead in the band's home. This day that should have been a milestone at the beginning of the band's career is instead the end of the short life of one of their own."
A memorial is also reportedly being put together tonight at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins to honor Schou.
"Typical" live at the Aggie (Schou's playing guitar in this clip)
-- Dave Herrera