In the wake of Friday’s plane crash, which killed four people and critically injured Travis Barker and DJ AM , reactions from the artists’ families and musical colleagues began to arrive at MTV News. Barker’s assistant, Chris “Little Chris” Baker, 29 (who appeared on MTV’s reality show “Meet the Barkers”), and his security guard, Charles Still, 25, were among the people who died in the crash.
The unusual combination of friends and colleagues — Fall Out Boy, Beanie Sigel, , Samantha Ronson, Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta and even MTV News’ Tim Kash — is a telling reflection of Barker and AM’s wide circle of friends.
Fall Out Boy, who toured with Barker’s +44 in 2007, said in a statement that they reacted to news of the crash with “deep sadness,” and extended their sympathies to the families of those who were in the crash.
“Our band would like to reach out and put those who were a part of this tragedy and their families in our prayers, and as well our continued support for the recovery of those who survived,” the statement reads. “It’s times like these that we are reminded — in the worst possible way — to honor life. Chris [Baker] was a rad guy. He always had a way to get us to smile on tour, no matter what situation we were in, and he was truly beloved.
“In the next few days, more information will emerge and we will more fully understand the extent of this terrible tragedy,” the statement continues. “In the meantime, we want to encourage anyone reading this to simply tell the people you love how you feel.”
Philadelphia rapper Beanie Siegel, who recently collaborated with Barker on a few songs, told MTV News that he learned of the crash from his manager.
“I was just with Travis and the whole squad in Vegas,” he said. “Man, that [news of the tragedy] took me like, ’Wow.’ It’s just a blessing he survived. It got me thinking, like, ’Is it all worth it?’ This lifestyle and all the traveling we do.
“It was cool working with [Barker],” Sig added. “We didn’t sit in the studio together, but I laid [down] my vocals and sent it to him. He called back and said he loved the record. He said he wanted to do the music over and make the record we did have an even bigger sound.”
Lindsay Lohan and DJ Samantha Ronson, friends of Barker and AM, posted messages of support on their blogs.
Writing on her MySpace celebrity blog, Lohan led by saying “horrible news” and went on to write, “please send your prayers out to adam goldstein and travis barker — along with the others lost in the plane crash … it’s so scary to think that life can end so fast … we must all treasure each and every moment — and be thankful for what we have. all my love … xoxo L.”
On her MySpace blog, Ronson led with a sad emoticon and then said: “my good friend adam (dj am) was in a plane crash last night, he was lucky to survive but is still in the hospital being treated for burns (so i read). i don’t really know what to say, it’s such horrifying news, but i was hoping you guys would please send him your best wishes/ prayers because I don’t really know what else to do. also for travis barker, who was on the plane. four other people were on the plane and did not survive, i can’t even imagine the pain their families must be in. soooooo sad and i’m so sorry. take good care of yourselves, samantha xo.”
Several of the artists MTV News contacted on Saturday were too stunned by the news to comment right away. Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship, who also toured with +44, reflected those feelings by saying, “Chris was an awesome dude and I’m shocked and saddened that this happened. I just don’t know what else to say beyond that.”
If you’d like more information on the memorial funds set up to benefit Chris Baker’s and Charles Still’s families, visit the Famous Stars and Straps Web site.