Chuck E. Weiss, Musician Who, in Love, Impressed a Hit Tune, Dies at 76 l Janaseva News


Chuck E. Weiss, blues musician, membership proprietor and outsize Los Angeles character who was immortalized in Rickie Lee Jones’s breakout hit track, “Chuck E.’s in Love,” died on July 20 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 76.

His brother, Byron, mentioned the trigger was kidney failure.

Mr. Weiss was a voracious musicologist, an encyclopedia of obscure jazz and early R&B artists, a drummer, a songwriter and a extensively acknowledged rascal who within the mid-Seventies landed in Los Angeles from his native Denver along with his buddy the singer-songwriter Tom Waits.

On the Troubadour, the venerable West Hollywood folks membership, the place Mr. Weiss labored for a time as a dishwasher, they met one other younger singer-songwriter, a former runaway named Rickie Lee Jones. Mr. Waits and Ms. Jones grew to become an merchandise, and the three of them grew to become inseparable as they caroused by Hollywood, stealing garden ornaments and pranking folks at music business events (like shaking arms with dip smeared on their palms).

“It seems sometimes like we’re real romantic dreamers who got stuck in the wrong time zone,” Ms. Jones advised Rolling Stone journal in 1979, describing Mr. Weiss and Mr. Waits as her household on the time.

They lived on the Tropicana Motel, a seedy Nineteen Forties-era bohemia on Santa Monica Boulevard. “It was a regular DMZ,” Mr. Weiss advised LA Weekly in 1981, “except everyone had a tan and looked nice.”

Within the fall of 1977, on a visit house to Denver, Mr. Weiss referred to as his buddies again in Los Angeles, and when Mr. Waits put down the telephone, he introduced to Ms. Jones, “Chuck E.’s in love!”

Two years later, Ms. Jones’s fanciful riff on that declaration — “What’s her name?/Is that her there?/Oh, Christ, I think he’s even combed his hair” — had made her a star. (Although the final line of the track suggests in any other case, it was not Ms. Jones whom Mr. Weiss had fallen for; it was a distant cousin of his.)

The track was a success single, the opening monitor of Ms. Jones’s debut album, “Rickie Lee Jones,” and a 1980 Grammy Award nominee for track of the yr. (“What a Fool Believes,” carried out by the Doobie Brothers, took the distinction.)

In an essay in The Los Angeles Instances on July 21, Ms. Jones recalled that when she first met Mr. Waits and Mr. Weiss, she couldn’t inform them aside. “They were two of the most charismatic characters Hollywood had seen in decades,” she wrote, “and without them I think the entire street of Santa Monica Boulevard would have collapsed.”

In a telephone interview later, she mentioned of Mr. Weiss: “There was mischief in him, he was our trickster. He was a thrilling guy, and a disaster for a time, as thrilling people often are.”

Charles Edward Weiss was born in Denver on March 18, 1945. His father, Leo, was within the salvage enterprise; his mom, Jeannette (Rollnick) Weiss, owned a hat retailer, Hollywood Millinery. Chuck graduated from East Excessive Faculty and attended Mesa Junior School, now Colorado Mesa, in Grand Junction.

His brother, Byron, is his solely speedy survivor.

In his early 20s, Mr. Weiss met Chuck Morris, now a music promoter, when Mr. Morris was a co-owner of Tulagi, a music membership in Boulder, Colo. When blues performers like Lightnin’ Hopkins and John Lee Hooker got here by, they usually traveled alone, and it was as much as Mr. Morris to search out them a neighborhood band. He would ask Mr. Weiss to fill in as drummer.

In 1973 Mr. Morris opened a Denver nightclub referred to as Ebbets Discipline (he was born in Brooklyn), which drew performers like Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Mr. Waits. Mr. Weiss crammed in there too.

bAt the time, as Mr. Weiss recalled in 2014, he was attempting to file his personal music and within the behavior of asking performers to play with him. That’s how he met Mr. Waits. “And I think what happened was I saw Waits do some finger-poppin’ stuff at Ebbets Fields one night,” he mentioned, “and I went up to him after the show. I was wearing some platform shoes and a chinchilla coat, and I was slipping on the ice on the street outside because I was so high, and asked if he wanted to do some recording with me. He looked at me like I was from outer space, man.”

Nonetheless, he mentioned, they grew to become quick associates.

Mr. Waits, interviewed by The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1999, described Mr. Weiss as “a mensch, a liar, a monkey and a pathological vaudevillian.”

Mr. Waits and Mr. Weiss ended up collaborating on a variety of issues, in a single occasion co-writing the lyrics to “Spare Parts (A Nocturnal Emission),” a barroom dirge on Mr. Waits’s album “Nighthawks at the Diner,” launched in 1975. Mr. Waits produced two albums for Mr. Weiss; the primary, “Extremely Cool,” in 1999, was described in a single evaluation as “a goofy, eclectic mix of loosely-played blues and boogie-woogie.”

Although his songwriting was singular — “Anthem for Lost Souls” was advised from the perspective of a neighbor’s cat — Mr. Weiss was greatest identified for his stay performances. Gravel-voiced, shaggy-haired and lengthy on patter, he was a bluesman with a borscht belt humorousness.

For a lot of the Eighties Mr. Weiss performed at a Los Angeles membership referred to as the Central, accompanied by his band, The Goddamn Liars. He later inspired his actor buddy Johnny Depp to purchase the place with him and others. They turned it into the Viper Room, the celebrity-flecked ’90s-era nightclub.

Mr. Weiss was usually requested how he felt about his star flip in Ms. Jones’s hit. “Yeah, I was flabbergasted,” he advised The Related Press in 2007. “Little did we know that, all in all, we would both be known for that for the rest of our lives.”

However the remainder of their lives would now not be intertwined.

Ms. Jones wrote of Mr. Weiss in her Los Angeles Instances essay: “When ‘Chuck E.’s in Love’ passed from the heavens and faded into the ‘I hate that song’ desert, from which it still has not really recovered, he and I became estranged, and everyone fell away from everyone. Waits left, the brief Camelot of our street corner jive ended. I had made fiction of us, made heroes of very unheroic people. But I’m glad I did.”

Later, on the telephone, she mentioned, “Two of the three of us became very successful musicians, but not Chuck, and he knew a lot of people.” She added: “We think being the famous one is winning, but I’m not sure. Chuck did all right.”

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Teja Sirisipalli

#Chuck #Weiss #Musician #Love #Impressed #Hit #Tune #Dies

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