Music-Train Obit

Charlie Colin appears at the Friendly House Los Angeles’ 24th Annual Awards Luncheon in 2013, in Los Angeles. Colin, bassist and founding member of the American pop-rock band Train, has died. He was 58. Richard Shotwell/Invision via Associated Press, file

BRUSSELS — Charlie Colin, bassist and founding member of the band Train, best known for their early-aughts hits like “Drops of Jupiter” and “Meet Virginia,” has died. He was 58.

Colin’s sister Carolyn Stephens confirmed her brother’s death to The Associated Press on Wednesday. He died after slipping and falling in the shower while house-sitting for a friend in Brussels, celebrity website reported.

Colin grew up in Southern California, later attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. After college, he played in a group called Apostles 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, according to an interview with Colin and Hotchkiss in Berklee’s alumni magazine.

As a founding member of the pop-rock band, 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 that confirmed the band’s success.


The eight-times platinum title track “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” featured 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. It hit No. 5 on the Billboard chart and earned two Grammys, including best rock song.

Colin left Train in 2003 because of substance abuse issues.

“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, he 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.

On Wednesday, a tribute to Colin appeared on Train’s social media pages.

“When I met Charlie Colin, front left, I fell in love with him. He was the sweetest guy and what a handsome chap. Let’s make a band that’s the only reasonable thing to do,” it reads.


“His unique bass playing a beautiful guitar work helped get folks to notice us in SF and beyond. I’ll always have a warm place for him in my heart. I always tried to pull him closer but he had a vision of his own. You’re a legend, Charlie. Go charm the pants off those angels,” the unsigned post continued.

Prior to his death, Colin documented his time in Brussels, deeming the Belgian capital “officially my favorite city” in a March Instagram post.

Colin also worked as the musical director of the Newport Beach Film Festival.

“Charlie was a special part of the Newport Beach Film Festival family,” said Todd Quartararo, co-founder of the Newport Beach Film Festival. “His heart, compassion and creativity will surely be missed.”

He is survived by his parents, his sister and a niece.

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