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Original SAINT VITUS bassist MARK ADAMS dead at 64

Image credit: Superskum


Original SAINT VITUS bassist Mark Adams has died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 64 years old.

Adams‘s passing was confirmed by SAINT VITUS guitarist Dave Chandler, who took to his social media to write: “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. I found out last night. I can’t say it out loud. I’m heartbroken to inform everyone that my best friend and co – founder of SAINT VITUS Mark Adams has passed away. The details are vague, as I haven’t actually spoken with the family yet. He left us May 23 2023 peacefully in his sleep. I’m trying to contact anyone in the family to find out more.

Mark was the best person I’ve ever met. He was kind to everyone, even those who did him wrong. Never had a bad word to say about anyone. Always found the good in everything no matter how bad it was. A great guy to be around. Nothing will ever be the same.

“God bless you my dear friend. I love you

Mark Anthony Adams. 1958 – 2023.”

Adams had been absent from SAINT VITUS‘s recent tours due to his illness. Playing bass for the group has been former CROWBAR and current DOWN bassist Pat Bruders.

SAINT VITUS began in the year 1978, when AdamsChandler and drummer Armando Acosta started rehearsing. After trying out two other singers, the band finally settled for vocalist Scott Reagers under the designation TYRANT. In August 1979 the quartet played their first show and in 1980 their name was finally changed to SAINT VITUS. Reportedly this move was inspired by the BLACK SABBATH song “St. Vitus’ Dance”, taken from the “Volume 4” album (1972).

The eponymous debut album “Saint Vitus” had been released in the same year and was quickly followed by the second full-length “Hallow’s Victim” (1985) and an EP titled “The Walking Dead” (1985). With thrash metal on a furious rise, the ultra-heavy sound of SAINT VITUS was mainly enjoyed by connoisseurs of doom and a dedicated underground following. This might have been one of the reasons for Scott Reagers to part from the band in 1986. His unexpected move turned out to be hardly a problem for the band as they recruited Scott “Wino” Weinrich from THE OBSESSED, who is considered as the ultimate voice of SAINT VITUS by a clear majority of their adherents.

When Reagers left, Dave Chandler had already written most of “Born Too Late” (1986). This album gained the Americans growing attention in the Metal underground especially overseas. The anthemic title track is considered be one of the great doom hymns by many fans.

The EP “Thirsty And Miserable” (1987) followed, which featured a BLACK FLAG cover version of the same name, but “Mournful Cries” (1988) was still going to be the last album for SST Records. All this hard work during the previous years started to pay off. With their aptly named fifth full-length “V” (1989) now released on the famous German doom label Hellhound Records and the live recording “Live” coming out a year later, interest started to grow considerably, although at first in continental Europe, but soon after in England as well. Just as the horizon was brightening for the Godfathers of Doom, Wino decided to leave SAINT VITUS and reform THE OBSESSED in 1990, which turned out to be a serious blow.

Wino was first replaced by Christian Lindersson from Swedish musical and spiritual brothers COUNT RAVEN. With him at the microphone SAINT VITUS recorded “C.O.D.” (1992),which was produced by Don Dokken and gained high critical acclaim. Despite the warm welcome received, the band remained largely inactive after this release.

Two years later, SAINT VITUS reunited with their Reagers. This led to the again much applauded album “Die Healing” (1995). It might have been the right time for the group to reap the harvest of all the amazing songs that they had sown, but due to severe health problems of Reagers, their European tour had to be prematurely ended and that seemed to be the end of the SAINT VITUS story for a long time, much to the dismay of their loyal and by then many followers.

At the time nobody could have foreseen that April 29, 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany would mark Acosta‘s final performance with SAINT VITUS. After this last show in Europe, the band returned to the States as planned. There Amando‘s multiple serious health issues were continuing to take their toll on him, and with great sadness on November 25, 2010 SAINT VITUS received the painful news that their longtime friend and band mate had passed away.

When SAINT VITUS played their massive show at Hellfest in France, the crowd witnessed a new member on the drum stool. Henry Vasquez, who had already joined Dave Chandler on his project DEBRIS INC. made his debut there and remained with the band from that day on.

In 2012, SAINT VITUS signed to Season Of Mist, which released “Lillie: F-65”. Seventeen years after their previous album and nine years after their reunion, SAINT VITUS were returning with a masterpiece that cemented their status as true icons of doom. “Lillie: F-65” is graced with the deeply resonant vocals of Weinrich who had rejoined the fold to record an album with the band for the first time since the glorious “V” (1989) and whom many consider to be the classic SAINT VITUS vocalist.

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It is mostly characterized by the trembling of hands, imbalance while walking and constant involuntary fidgeting of the body.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but medications, surgery and multidisciplinary management can provide relief from the symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease has been affecting many musicians in recent years. Singers Linda Ronstadt and Neil Diamond suffer from it, and in February 2018, MR. BIG drummer Pat Torpey died from complications of Parkinson’s disease at the age of 64.

JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nine years ago — after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier — and ended up sitting out touring activities in support of PRIEST‘s latest album, “Firepower”.

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