COLUMN: Recalling the Green Album and Mikey

Tyler McGinty, Opinions Editor

Celebrity deaths are rumored to come in threes, and it may be just because we stop paying attention after the third one, and this month was no exception.

Within the same week Steve Jobs, Al Davis and Mikey Welsh all passed away. Poor Mikey may not have been as important as the others, but as a member of Weezer, he deserves something.

Welsh was my second favorite Weezer bassist (and if you’re favorite is anyone but Matt Sharp, you’re wrong) not necessarily because of any special talent, but because he isn’t Scott Shriner, and to me he’s symbolic of a change for the band.

Welsh joined Weezer after the departure of Sharp for the third album,

“Weezer” (the green one, not the red one or the blue one) and their sound had changed incredibly. Weezer had gotten more popular, it seems everyone heard “Hash Pipe” or “Island in the Sun.”

What was most shocking to me was how mean Welsh looked on the cover.

It’s a stark contrast to how serene Sharp looks on the cover of

“Weezer” (the blue one, not the red one or the green one.) He looks so upset, maybe because he thought that’s what rock stars should look like. I remember when I heard that he suffered from a mental breakdown. I wasn’t surprised at all. He looked like a guy ready to pop.

Welsh ended up quitting music after his breakdown and focused on art after he got out of the hospital. If it weren’t for the fact that a drug overdose is his suspected cause of death, I would have thought it did a lot for him.

More recent pictures of Welsh make him seem far more calm than the cover of “Weezer.” Sure, there are a couple of pictures where he looks pretty intense, but it looks far more appropriate as an artist specializing in outsider art than it ever did as a bassist for Weezer.

Welsh also sent a mysterious tweet predicting his death on Sept. 26, saying he had a dream that he died in Chicago the next weekend. Afterward corrected to two weeks later, and that he should get his affairs in order. The timing is far too accurate to not be potential suicide, so Welsh probably wasn’t in his right mind.

I know it’s foolish to attribute this to Welsh, especially since Weezer’s creative output is held firmly in the hands of Rivers Cuomo, but after Welsh left the band, it seems like Weezer went a bit downhill.

A part of me knows that “Maladroit” is a better album technically, but “Weezer” (again, the green one) holds a part of my heart because it was the first Weezer album I owned.

I really wish I had found Welsh’s art before his death. It’s sadly a case of finding out too late. Outsider art usually doesn’t impact the art world all that much, but it would have been cool to follow Welsh’s career.

Mikey Welsh may not be missed by many people, but I’ll miss him. He was there when Weezer went in a radically new direction and devoted his life to art. For Weezer fans, he is an immortal part of their history, regardless of how you feel about Weezer before, after or during his short tenure as bassist.