SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Prolific Bay Area bassist and composer Rob Wasserman, best known for his long collaboration with Grateful Dead member Bob Weir, has died, according to reports on social media.
Weir had posted about Wasserman being in ill health earlier Wednesday, saying on Twitter, “My great friend Rob Wasserman is facing a serious health struggle today. Please share the strength of our family with him and his family.”
Only two hours later, he tweeted that Wasserman had passed away.
Wasserman had reportedly been hospitalized as he battled cancer, but the official cause of death has not been announced.
Wasserman started out playing violin, but moved to stand-up bass as a teen. He studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and played with Van Morrison, Oingo Boingo and mandolin player David Grisman and his quartet. He earned accolades and Downbeat Magazine’s Record of the Year award for his 1983 debut recording Solo.
He would also tour and record with such notable songwriters as Rickie Lee Jones, Lou Reed, Neil Young and Elvis Costello, but Wasserman was best known for his work with Bob Weir in a duo (alternately known as Weir/Wasserman and Scaring the children) and a member of RatDog starting in the mid-1990s.
Wasserman took an extended leave from the band in 2002, but would reunite with the band in 2013.