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   Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory

Wesley Joseph Berggren

Wes Berggren
October 28, 1999
Age 28



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Overdosewesberrgren.jpg (20058 bytes)

 

 

 

OBITUARY 

Tripping Daisy Guitarist Died of OD

       A medical examiner has ruled the death of Tripping Daisy guitarist Wes Berggren an overdose. 

       Berggren, 28, was found dead in his Dallas apartment on Oct. 27 by his wife. Tests have revealed that cocaine, propoxyphene, and benzodiazepine were in his system. 

       Tripping Daisy was scheduled to perform on Nov. 12 and 13 in Dallas. Those shows will now feature local bands instead, with proceeds benefiting Berggren's parents.   

   

 Tripping Daisy's Guitarist Found Dead In Texas   

    Tripping Daisy guitarist/pianist Wes Berggren, 28, was found dead in his Dallas apartment by his wife Wednesday (Oct. 28) morning. Police have ruled out foul play, and investigators are waiting for toxicology test results to determine the cause of death.  

    The alternative Dallas band formed in 1991, and hit the charts in 1995 with their quirky single, "I Got a Girl."     After signing to Island, the album, Bill, in 1993, plus a five-song EP.  A second LP, I Am an Elastic Firecracker, followed in 1995, selling nearly 300,000. Their third album,  Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb, was released last year. Their new self-titled album is due Jan. 15.  

    The band was scheduled to play shows in Denton, Texas (Nov. 7) and Dallas (Nov. 12-13). There was no word at press time as to whether those shows would go on.  

    There will be a public memorial 11 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 30) in Dallas at The Unity Church. Donations in Berggren's name may be made to Salesmanship Club, 400 S. Houston St., Dallas, 75202.   ~ Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner --CD Now   

       Tripping Daisy musician dies in Dallas home
Investigators search for cause in demise of Wes Berggren, 28

                                      By Thor Christensen / The Dallas Morning News  

  Wes Berggren, guitarist-pianist and founding member of the popular local rock band Tripping Daisy, was found dead Wednesday at his home in Dallas. He was 28 years old. 

Dallas police say Mr. Berggren and his wife, Melissa, went to bed at their apartment on Worth Street at midnight Tuesday. Ms. Berggren awoke at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday and found her husband dead. His body showed no signs of trauma and investigators don't suspect foul play, said homicide Sgt. Mia Sullivan. 

  Investigators at the Dallas County medical examiner's office said they are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before ruling on the cause of death. 

  "He was just a sweetheart of a guy," said Tripping Daisy bassist Mark Pirro, who met Mr. Berggren in the late '80s at the University of North Texas. 

"It's a total shock," said Dragon Street Records owner David Dennard, who put out Tripping Daisy's debut album in 1992. "He was a really normal, levelheaded guy who never got pushed out of shape - even under a lot of trying and tense circumstances." 

  Mr. Berggren co-founded Tripping Daisy in 1991 with Mr. Pirro and lead singer Tim DeLaughter, and the group quickly won an avid local following with its edgy, psychedelic sound and frenetic concerts. In 1992, the band released its debut disc, Bill, on the Dallas-based Dragon Street and, in 1993, signed a major deal with Island Records. 

  "We're in this for the long haul," Mr. Berggren told The Dallas Morning News in 1993. "We don't want to break on the first, second record. We'd like to break on the third." 

  Tripping Daisy made waves on the national pop charts in 1995 with "I Got a Girl," a quirky song that propelled its second album, I Am an Elastic Firecracker, to sales of nearly 300,000. A year later, the group played large venues as the opening act for Def Leppard. 

  But Mr. Berggren's wishes for the band's third album never came through: Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb sold poorly, and Island dropped the band in 1998 as part of a staff-slashing merger between Universal and PolyGram Records. 

  The band has carried on, however, releasing a seven-song EP through its Web site and performing at clubs around Dallas and Fort Worth. The group was slated to perform Nov. 12-13 at the Curtain Club, but drummer Ben Curtis said the band's future is up in the air. 

  "We haven't even thought about it," said Mr. Curtis. "This is the last thing that anyone expected. Wes was the sort of guy things always worked out for.  He was one of the smartest guys I knew - a real brain. It's such a big loss that he won't be able to explore his talent further." 

A memorial service for Mr. Berggren will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Unity Church of Christianity, 3425 Greenville Ave.  ~ Staff writer Connie Piloto contributed to this report.

   

 

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All-Music Guide    Born: April 3, 1971 Died: October 28, 1999

      Pleasantly inspired by the Beatles' psychedelic period as well as the more heavy riffers of the 1970s, alternative popsters Tripping Daisy came together in Dallas in 1991. Comprising vocalist/guitarist Tim DeLaughter, guitarist Wes Berggren bassist Mark Pirro and drummer Mitch Marine, the band gigged around the area and began recording soon after. One of the session highlights, "Lost and Found," appeared on a compilation released by local KDGE-FM and received airplay on the station. In 1993, Tripping Daisy did well at the Dallas Observer Music Awards and released their album debut, Bill,  on Dragon Street Records. After the quartet signed to Island,  the record label re-released Bill plus a five-song live EP, then  issued I Am an Elastic Firecracker in 1995. Third album Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb  followed in 1998. -- John Bush --All Music Guide 

 

 

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