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Former Sunny Day Real Estate / Posies Bassist Joe Skyward Dies at 57

MySpace: Joe Skyward
MySpace: Joe Skyward

The music world has lost another talent as bassist Joe Skyward, best known for his work with Sunny Day Real Estate and the Posies has passed away at the age of 57.

The rocker, born Joe Howard and also known as Joe Bass, had been fighting cancer over the last two years. The Posies alerted fans to Joe Skyward’s passing via a Facebook posting. It reads as follows:

Joe Skyward, aka Joe Bass, left us last night. He had been fighting cancer for the last 2 years. Positive to the end, he went surrounded by friends and family. We had many great years with Joe and loved him very much. We still do. Rest in peace, rest in space, rest in bass. Here pictured onstage with the Posies in Spain in 2014. We will miss you Joe.

After graduating high school, Joe Howard moved to Bozeman, Mont., taking music classes at Montanta State University. While there, he played in a prog group, worked at a record store and opened a skateboard and music shop where he began promoting concerts. He eventually spent time in San Francisco and Seattle as a musician, eventually filling in for the band Sky Cries Mary just as they signed a record deal.

In 1994, Howard left Sky Cries Mary to become the bassist for The Posies, appearing on their Amazing Disgrace and Success albums. Shortly after his final album with The Posies, he joined Sunny Day Real Estate, splitting bass duties with Jeff Palmer for the band on their 1998 album, How It Feels to Be Something On. The album was the group’s first minus Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel, but drummer William Goldsmith, who also spent time with the Foos, was still part of the lineup.

After his time with Sunny Day Real Estate, Skyward continued to do session work. In 2013, Skyward returned to The Posies to play shows honoring the Amazing Disgrace album and continued with the group during a 2014 reunion.

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