Casey Calvert, Guitarist for Hawthorne Heights, Dead at 26

By | November 24, 2007 at 8:02 AM

Casey Calvert, guitarist for post punk/ rock band Hawthorne Heights, was found dead early Saturday morning. Calvert was 26-years-old.

According to several accounts Calvert appeared healthy on Friday night while spending time with friends before going to sleep for the night. Those same reports indicated that Calvert passed away at some point while sleeping.

Calvert’s sound played a big role in Hawthorne Heights and its highly successful second album If Only You Were Lonely which debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts and produced the hit single “Saying Sorry.”

Hawthorne Heights had a show in Detroit, Michigan on Friday night and was scheduled for a show on Saturday in Washington D.C.

The official site of Hawthorne Heights posted a message on their front page stating:

“Today is probably the worst day ever. Its with our deepest regrets that we have to write this. Casey Calvert passed away in his sleep last night. We found out this afternoon before sound-check. We’ve spent the entire day trying to come to grips with this and figure out as much as possible. At this time we’re not sure what exactly happened. Just last night he was joking around with everyone before he went to bed. We can say with absolute certainty that he was not doing anything illegal. Please, out of respect to Casey and his family, don’t contribute or succumb to any gossip you may hear. We don’t want his memory to be tainted in the least. Casey was our best friend. He was quirky and awesome and there will truly be no others like him! His loss is unexplainable. As soon as we know more we will let you know.”

Casey Calvert was found unconscious in the pop-punk band’s tour bus, according to Officer Junis Fletcher, a police spokesman.

Calvert was pronounced dead at the scene, Fletcher said. Police are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Family, friends and fans were reeling from the news.

Fan tributes poured in at the Hawthorne Heights Web site, www.hawthorneheights.com, where band members Eron Bucciarelli, Micah Carli, Matt Ridenour and JT Woodruff announced that their “quirky and awesome” best friend had “passed away in his sleep.”

“At this time we’re not sure what exactly happened. Just last night he was joking around with everyone before he went to bed,” the band members wrote in a posting dated Saturday.

The group sought to head off any rumors about Calvert’s death.

“We can say with absolute certainty that he was not doing anything illegal… We don’t want his memory to be tainted in the least,” the band’s posting said.

Hawthorne Heights formed in 2001 and has released two albums. Buzz on MySpace helped boost the first album, “The Silence in Black and White.” The second, “If Only You Were Lonely,” entered the Billboard charts at No. 3, and the single “Saying Sorry” got play on MTV and VH1.

Reached at the family home in Middletown, Ohio, Calvert’s stepmother, Tammy Calvert, said the family was in shock and mourning.

In addition to his stepmother, Casey Calvert is survived by his wife, two stepsisters and his mother and father, Tammy Calvert said.

Calvert picked up a love of music from his father, Greg, a member of Gary and the Hornets, a 1960s band that once performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” His father played bass, but the younger Calvert preferred guitar, his stepmother said.

He loved Dr. Seuss books and Tim Burton films and was so fastidious about his health that he was a vegetarian, she said.
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He married about a year ago. His wife is a schoolteacher, his stepmother said.

“He was a very good and kind young man, and right now there aren’t any answers,” she said.

Staff researcher Rena Kirsch contributed to this report.

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