John Ciambotti, bass player for the 1970s Bay Area rock band Clover, which backed Elvis Costello on his debut album, and a session musician for acclaimed folk-rockers including Lucinda Williams, John Prine and Carlene Carter, died Wednesday in Glendale. He was 67.
Ciambotti, who became a chiropractor specializing in musicians' injuries, apparently died from an abdominal aneurysm after surgery for an unspecified condition, a spokeswoman at his Glendale office said Friday.
As a member of Clover, Ciambotti plugged away for years without finding stardom. But the band was tapped in 1977 on a trip to the United Kingdom to back a wiry Irish rocker named Declan Patrick McManus. The acerbic singer and songwriter had recently taken the stage name Elvis Costello and wowed audiences and music critics with "My Aim Is True," a debut built around a raw, stripped-down sound provided by Clover and power-packed songs filled with biting lyrics that earned Costello the sobriquet of the "angry young man" of the late-'70s new wave rock movement.
Ciambotti and two other Clover members reunited with Costello in 2007, playing the album in its entirety at a pair of fundraisers in San Francisco for an organization serving children with Prader-Willi syndrome.