R.I.P. Bob Heathcote, Former Suicidal Tendencies Bassist Dies at 58 in Motorcycle Accident

He played on the 1988 album How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today before being replaced by Robert Trujillo

Suicidal Tendencies Bob Heathcote dies
Bob Heathcote (via Facebook and publicity)

    Bob Heathcote, a one-time bassist for Suicidal Tendencies, has died at the age of 58 as the result of a motorcycle accident. The tragic news was reported on Facebook by his son, Chris Heathcote.

    While he only spent a brief time in Suicidal Tendencies, Heathcote played bass on the band’s third album, 1988’s How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today, which yielded the singles “Trip at the Brain” and “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow.” He was let go from the band and replaced by future Metallica member Robert Trujillo in 1989, although he did appear on three tracks on the 1989 effort Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit… Déjà Vu.

    In his Facebook post announcing his father’s passing, Chris Heathcote wrote the following:

    “My father Bob Heathcote has left this earth after 58 years and nearly two months, due to a motorcycle accident. I cannot put words together other than the fact that this is a loss I will hardly recover (if ever), and the fact that he was a hard working father who raised five children, including me. His interests included music, traveling, race cars and attending race tracks. He was also a supporter of the Dodgers.

    In addition to his work in the technology and photography industries, dad gained a bit of publicity in the late 80’s as the bass player of the legendary punk/metal act Suicidal Tendencies. His tenure with S.T. lasted for just one album, the Epic Records release How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today, which spawned the hits ‘Trip at the Brain’ and the title track ‘How Will I Laugh Tomorrow’. Those two songs garnered airplay from Headbangers Ball on MTV and active rock radio stations, including the defunct legendary Long Beach-based radio station 105.5 KNAC. After that album, he left S.T. and the band would replace him with future Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo.

    Each and every moment I’ve shared with my dad will forever remain as a treat. Thank you dad for everything you did for me and my family. I will miss not only your keen sense of humor, but you and me doing a lot of things we loved doing together, including talking about or listening to music, traveling, going to the beach, going to Mexican restaurants, attending Dodger games, etc.

    R.I.P. Robert Monroe Heathcote
    May 27th, 1964 – July 24th, 2022″


    Bob Heathcote had replaced previous bassist Louiche Mayorga in Suicidal Tendencies, and once recalled the awkward encounter he had with him when he learned he had gotten the job.

    “What was really strange and something I will never forget is finding Louiche waiting downstairs when I came out of the room,” Heathcote told Suicidal Maniac blog (via Blabbermouth). “Someone must have called him and told him I was talking privately with [Suicidal Tendencies frontman Mike] Muir. Louiche asked me what happened upstairs, and I told him, ‘Well… I’m in, and you are out.’ He heard it from me first. I still regret telling him that way. He was always a really nice to me but I didn’t want to lie to him. I just did not know what else to say.”

    A GoFundMe page, shared by Chris Heathcote, has been set up to help the family with immediate expenses. Donations can be made here.


    Our condolences to Bob Heathcote’s family and friends during this difficult time. See the videos for “Trip at the Brain” and “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow” below.

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