The legendary musician who helped to launch The Viper Room with Johnny Depp has passed away at the age of 76 after struggling with an illness for a long time.
The Los Angeles music scene legend who was the subject of Rickie Lee Jones‘ hit “Chuck E.’s In Love”, has died, aged 76.
Chuck E. Weiss passed away on Tuesday (20Jul21) after battling a long illness.
The “Goddamn Liars” star, who frequented hip Hollywood venues The Viper Room – when it was known as The Central – and the Kibitz Room at Canter’s Deli, rarely travelled outside California because he didn’t like to fly, but he became a staple on the local scene. He reached nationwide fame when he became the subject of his friend Rickie Lee Jones’ 1979 hit.
Reports suggest Jones’ then-boyfriend, Tom Waits, coined the song title after Weiss called the couple from Denver, Colorado to explain he had fallen for a cousin who lived there. Waits hung up the phone and said, “Chuck E.’s in love”. The song became Jones’ biggest hit.
Born in Colorado, Weiss first found fame as blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins‘ tour drummer. He was also a DJ on Denver rock station KFML-FM in the early 1970s.
Weiss became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene in the early 1980s after the release of his debut EP “The Other Side of Town“, and he also enjoyed acting success, appearing on TV shows “Gilmore Girls“, “Married… With Children“, and “My Wife and Kids“.
Musician Jimmie Wood of the Imperial Crowns told Variety, “Chuck E. Weiss left the room yesterday morning around 8:30. [bandmate] JJ Holiday was by his side. He was one of a kind and certainly made Los Angeles a better city!”
Holiday later posted on Facebook, “All of us who remain must feel very lucky to have been invited to his one-of-a-kind party too. He means a lot and the very most to so many of us.”