City Slang: Bob Birch – What a man

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As is often the case when a well-known musician passes away, Bob Birch’s tragic death on Wednesday morning was met with a flood of grief on the internet. It seems as if everyone knew Bob well, and everyone thought that he was one of the best bass player’s around.

In this case, the messages were justified.

First of all, Bob was a Detroiter. He was a student at Wayne State University, and he spent the early part of his musical career playing the Detroit club circuit.

Birch joined Elton John’s band in 1992, and remained with John until his passing. He also recorded or performed live with Billy Joel, Tim Rice, Lionel Ritchie, Eric Clapton, BB King, Sting, Cher, Tina Turner, Little Richard, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Mathis, Brian Wilson and Ray Charles, among many others.

With Elton John, Birch added a little bit of “Detroit” to the music of one of the biggest artists in popular music history. He performed on the world’s biggest stages to hundreds of thousands of people. He made us very proud.

We’d like to send our sincerest condolences to Bob’s wife Michele and son Jonathan, and all of his friends and family.

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