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Possum Dixon Guitarist Celso Chavez Dead at 44

Celso Chazev

Guitarist Celso Chavez, one of the founding members of the ’90s alt-rock band Possum Dixon, passed away Wednesday night at the age of 44. Chavez died of a staph infection complicated by a bout with pneumonia, former bandmate Rob Zabrecky tells the Los Angeles Times. “He had been doing a lot of harm to his body for a really long time,” Zabrecky says. “It finally took its unfortunate toll.”

Possum Dixon formed in Los Angeles in 1989 and went on to enjoy modest national success during the ’90s alt-rock boom, releasing three albums on Interscope Records. Their self-titled major-label debut dropped in 1993 and spawned the band’s biggest hit, ‘Watch the Girl Destroy Me,’ which peaked at No. 9 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. Their final disc, 1998’s ‘New Sheets,’ was produced by Ric Ocasek of the Cars.

Chavez also played with Trash Can School and, following Possum Dixon’s split in 1999, started his own project named Pill Module. He was known for his jangly, pop-infused guitar licks, punctuated by tasteful bursts of noise.

Zabrecky admits that in the band’s heyday, he and Chavez did more than their fair share of partying.”Celso and I were two wild teenagers and guys in our early 20s,” he tells the Times. “We were up there smoking crack and taking heroin and pills. We were doing exactly what we wanted to do … Life couldn’t have been any better for a good five years. But drugs took a toll on our band.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Watch Possum Dixon’s ‘Watch the Girl Destroy Me’ Video

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