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Dead's longtime publicist confirms Welnick's death

Final Grateful Dead keyboard player dies

LOS ANGELES The last in a long line of Grateful Dead keyboard players is dead.

Vince Welnick was also a veteran of other bands, like the Tubes and Missing Man Formation. He was 51.The Dead's longtime publicist confirms Welnick's death, but Dennis McNally would not discuss the cause.Welnick was the last musician to join the group before the death of its unofficial leader, Jerry Garcia, in 1995.Several of the band's keyboard players died at relatively young ages, leading the band's "Dead Head" fans to speculate that the job came with a curse. The band's original keyboardist died at 27. Two successors also died young, one in a car crash and one of a drug overdose.McNally says Welnick took Garcia's death "maybe worse than anybody else in the band" because he had the chance to play with him for just five years. 
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