Screaming Trees Founding Bass Player Van Conner Passes Away at 55

2023-01-18

Screaming trees album cover

Screaming Trees album cover – Story by Charles Ken

Van Conner of grunge rockers Screaming Trees has passed away

Original Screaming Trees bass player Van Conner has passed away at age 55. Van’s brother, Screaming Trees guitarist Gary Lee Conner, shared the news in a post Wednesday (Jan. 18) via his Facebook page.

In the post, Gary wrote, “Van Conner bassist and song writer of Screaming Trees died last night of an extended illness at 55 It was pneumonia that got him in the end. He was one of the closest friends I ever had and I loved him immensely. I will miss him forever and ever and ever…” Gary also displayed a photo of the two of them together.

Van and Gary formed Screaming Trees in 1985 in Ellensburg, Washington, alongside singer Mark Lanegan and drummer Mark Pickerel. Together, they created a band that is considered to be one of the defining bands of the early grunge movement. Screaming Trees inspired bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but never quite reached that level of mainstream recognition. The band’s contemporaries were other early grunge groups such as The Melvins and Mudhoney. The band broke up in 2000, but Van stayed active in the music world, writing, producing and recording music. While they were together, Screaming Trees released seven albums, five EPs and three compilation albums.

Lanegan passed away last winter at age 57. At the time, Lanegan’s publicist released a statement saying, “Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland. A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician, he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley. No other information is available at this time. The family asks everyone to respect their privacy at this time.” Lanegan had contracted COVID-19 back in 2020 and was hospitalized. He went into a coma and was expected to pass away but lived, according to a synopsis for his book, 2021’s “Devil in a Coma.”

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Posted by Charles Ken | Alternative, Grunge, Music, Rock News