Following the sudden and tragic death of Bob Birch, Matt Bissonette has been named as the new bass player in Elton John’s band. Bissonette is currently rehearsing with the band in Los Angeles for their upcoming North American tour, which begins September 11 in Jackson, Mississippi.  

Bissonette’s has played for Brian Wilson, Christopher Cross, Sheena Easton, The Captain and Tenille and A-Ha.  Matt and his brother Gregg (a drummer) played together in David Lee Roth’s band, and later in Joe Satriani’s band. 

Bissonette was hired by Elton’s long-time guitarist and musical director, Davey Johnstone. In a statement published on Elton’s website, Bissonette, who also knew Bob Birch, said: “You can never take a guy like Bob Birch’s place in a band. I would love to honor Bob on this Elton tour and while playing all these great songs remember how great he was, as a bass player and all-round musician. But it’s ten times more important to remember what a fantastic human he was, and is. Here’s to you Bob.”

Note that Matt Bissonette isn’t Matt Bissonnette (spelled with two “n’s”), the former Navy SEAL behind the upcoming controversial book No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local


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