Onetime Marilyn Manson bassist Gidget Gein (born Bradley Stewart) was found dead in his Burbank, California, home on Thursday of an apparent drug overdose, Lieutenant Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Investigation Department confirmed to MTV News. The death is being listed as an apparent accidental death, and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday afternoon (October 13). Gein was 39 years old.
According to the L.A. Weekly, Gein — whose stage name was derived from the cutesy ’60s surfer girl played by Sally Field and noted serial killer Ed Gein — had recently finished a stint in rehab and had e-mailed the paper that he had formed a new band called People. Gein played in the Manson band — then known as Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids — from 1989-1993, replacing original bassist Olivia Newton Bundy. He performed on a series of early singles, as well as the band’s national full-length debut, 1994’s Portrait of an American Family.
Gein was fired from Manson’s band in 1993 because of his alleged ongoing drug use — reportedly via a Federal Express message delivered to the hospital bed where he was recovering from an overdose; the letter explained that his services “were no longer needed.” The bassist exited the band just two years before the group gained national stardom thanks to a haunting cover of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” He was replaced by bassist Twiggy Ramirez, who would himself be fired and re-hired by Manson over the next decade.
In Manson’s 1998 autobiography, “The Long Hard Road Out of Hell,” the singer — who has been open about his own drug use — discusses his sadness over Gein’s drug addiction, saying he once thought of the former bandmate as a brother. “My entire message and everything I’d begun striving to be as a person ran in direct opposition to Brad,” Manson wrote. “I wanted to be strong and independent, to think for myself and help other people think for themselves.”
Following his ouster, Gein went on two form the band Gidget Gein & the Dali Gaggers and, according to the Weekly, was often the center of attention for his goth-influenced artwork, which was displayed at L.A. parties. Gein’s friend Lenora Claire told the paper that “he had just got a book deal, was recording a record with the guy who produced the first Jane’s Addiction record and just landed a solo [art] show at La Luz de Jesus that he had wanted for years.”
Fellow Manson band refugee Bundy (born Brian Tutunick) was apparently among posters paying their respects to Gein on the Weekly Web site, writing, “That totally sucks. But lessions [sic] should be learned from this. He lost a great gig due to drugs and now he’s lost his life. R.I.P.”