2006 – Robbie “Rocket” Watts, guitarist for Australian rock act the Cosmic Psychos, dies in Melbourne. He is 47.
A GUITARIST in a Melbourne band that influenced grunge rockers, including Nirvana and Pearl Jam, has died.
Robbie “Rocket” Watts from the Cosmic Psychos died suddenly on Saturday night after a gig in Bendigo.
The band was not commercially successful but its churning high-octane rock has been cited as an influence by better-known bands, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, L7 and Spiderbait.
UK band the Prodigy based Fuel My Fire on the Cosmic Psychos’ Lost Cause.
Neil Rogers, who hosts The Australian Mood on radio station Triple R, managed the band in its early days.
“People here have just taken them for granted. They’ve never been fully recognised for the influence they’ve had,” he said. “Without them a lot of the whole grunge (movement) wouldn’t have happened.”
Watts, 47, joined the band in 1990. His first album with the group, Blokes You Can Trust, was produced by Butch Vig, fresh from completing Nirvana’s Nevermind.
The band began about 1982 as a foursome. In recent years, it was a trio made up of Watts, long-time vocalist Ross Knight and drummer Dean Muller.
Band spokesman Chris Oldfield said Watts’ impact could be measured in the many messages received from around the world since his death.
“It’s sad you don’t realise how influential someone is until they’re dead,” he said.
The father of four was a strong banjo player and busked outside football games, Oldfield said.