Robert Wayne Birch, Elton John’s bassist since the early ‘90s, was found dead this morning near Los Angeles from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Reuters reported that the L.A. County Assistant Coroner Chief said the death is “being investigated as a possible suicide.” There was no suicide note or signs of drug use, according to TMZ.
Birch had recorded and toured with John over the past two decades, including his work on the albums Made in England, Big Picture, Peachtree Road and The Captain and the Kid. Though most of his time was dedicated to working with John, he had also played with B.B. King, Billy Joel, Keith Emerson, Corinne Bailey Rae and Steve Archer. John has not yet released a comment on Birch’s death.