Saturday, May 12, 2012

Altrockobit: Celso Chavez

Celso Chavez, guitarist with second-wave grunge-lite band Possum Dixon, has died.

Possum Dixon made a leap from big fish on the LA indie circuit to slightly less noticeable fish in the scramble for a post-Nirvana act when they signed to Interscope.

It wasn't to be a happy partnership - although the first track from their self-titled debut did well, Interscope refused to fund a second single, which caused the impetus the band had built to vanish.

Their second album, Star Maps, was overshadowed by the death of singer Rob Zachery's wife and drug-use; they got as a far as a third but production by Ric Ocasek turned out to make a record which sounded more like a Cars cast-off than a Possum Dixon record. The cool reaction partly led to the band splitting, but it was mainly recreational differences, as Zachery explained to the LA Times:

"Drugs had a lot to do with," Zabrecky said. "I got sober in 1996. I gave up that lifestyle that I had fallen into. I was using a lot of intravenous drugs, and I hit bottom. I cleaned up, and I don't think Celso was ready to make that commitment at that point, and we parted."
Celso Chavez was 44; he was killed by a staph infection and pneumonia.

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