Musician Rick Chavez–known for his work with the band Drive, as well as his own solo releases–passed away unexpectedly in Houston, Texas last Saturday, February 25.
Rick’s bandmates in Drive have released these statements:
“For those who knew or even met the amazing soul that was Rick Chavez, be it through his music or by acquaintance, you would know what a great loss this is to us. This cuts through the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed.”
– Drive bassist Michael Anthony Guerrero
“Grieving once again, the loss of a childhood friend, a brother. Devastated, not only by memories, but of many journeys traveled and not traveled.”
— Drive drummer Valentin San Miguel
“Drive will always be a part of my DNA. Rick’s passionate, relentless guitar cries are embedded in my soul. His friendship secured in my heart. I will always miss and love you forever, Brother.”
— Drive guitarist Mercy Valdez
Best known as guitarist and founding member of the rock band Drive, Chavez independently released the song “Anyway” in 2015. See the video for the song here: https://youtu.be/FV9BseOMYq8.
Drive formed in Houston, Texas in the 1980s when its members were barely out of high school, and soon after moved to Los Angeles, which had become the epicenter of the ’80s rock scene. Drive quickly made a name for themselves on the streets of Hollywood and the Sunset Strip, and landed a spot on the KNAC Pure Rock: 10 Best from the West compilation album with a song penned by Chavez titled “I Need the Nights.” Soon after, label offers started coming and the band inked a deal with Rampage Records. Their debut album Characters In Time received tremendous reviews from the industry’s top rock press, including the coveted 5 “K” rating from Kerrang! Magazine. It was recently re-released by Warner Music Group.
In the early ‘90s, the band left Rampage and signed with Zoo Entertainment. In 1992, they released the sonically advanced and more mature-sounding Diablero. Label politics and a changing music scene led the band members to move back to Texas. Chavez continued to write and record. His solo recordings found him crossing genres and mixing rock n’ roll melody with the blues and even a little jazz, creating a strong and original sound.