Founding Member of Train Dies After Slipping in Shower

Charlie Colin, 58, was found at a friend's home in Brussels
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2024 8:09 AM CDT
Founding Member of Train Charlie Colin Dies at 58
Charlie Colin is seen on Oct. 26, 2013, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

A founding member of the pop-rock band Train has died. Carolyn Stephens, sister to Charlie Colin, the group's bassist, confirmed the death of her brother at the age of 58 to the AP. Colin's mother tells TMZ that Colin had slipped and fallen in the shower while housesitting for a friend in the Belgian capital of Brussels. She notes that friends discovered Colin when they returned home from their trip about five days ago; it's not clear when Colin died. Colin grew up in California and Virginia and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, according to the AP. He played in a group called Apostles after college with guitarist Jimmy Stafford and singer Rob Hotchkiss. The band eventually dissolved, and Colin moved to Singapore for a year to write jingles. Eventually, Colin, Hotchkiss, and Stafford relocated to San Francisco, where Train formed in the early '90s with singer Pat Monahan.

Colin brought in drummer Scott Underwood to round out the group, per an interview with Colin and Hotchkiss in Berklee's alumni magazine. As a founding member of Train, Colin played on the band's first three records: 1998's self-titled album, 2001's Drops of Jupiter, and 2003's My Private Nation. The latter two releases peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart. "Meet Virginia," from Train's debut album, broke the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, but it was their sophomore album, Drops of Jupiter, that confirmed the band's success. The eight-time platinum title track "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)"—which features the Rolling Stones' session pianist Chuck Leavell and Leonard Cohen's string orchestrator Paul Buckmaster and was written about the death of Monahan's mother—hit No. 5 on the same chart. It also earned two Grammys.

Colin left Train in 2003 due to substance abuse. "Charlie is one incredible bass player, but he was in a lot of pain, and the way he was dealing with it was very painful for everyone else around him," Monahan told NBC San Diego. In 2015, Colin reunited with Hotchkiss to start a new band called Painbirds, alongside Tom Luce. In 2017, he formed another band, the Side Deal, with Sugar Ray's Stan Frazier and the PawnShop Kings' Joel and Scott Owen. Colin's mother tells TMZ her son was living in Brussels while teaching music at a conservatory, wrapping up a film score, and working at a studio. A tribute to Colin from Train's X account called him "the sweetest guy" whose "unique bass playing [and] beautiful guitar work helped get folks to notice us in SF and beyond." The tribute added, "You're a legend, Charlie. Go charm the pants off those angels." (More Train stories.)

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