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PASSINGS: Chi Cheng, Errol Mann, George Jackson, Sir Colin Davis

Chi Cheng, Deftones bassist, dies at 42; Errol Mann, Raiders kicker in 1977 Super Bowl, dies at 71; George Jackson, prolific songwriter, dies at 68; Sir Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra conductor, dies at 85

April 19, 2013
  • Chi Cheng, right, is shown with the Deftones. From left are Chino Moreno, Frank Delgado, Abe Cunningham and Stef Carpenter.
Chi Cheng, right, is shown with the Deftones. From left are Chino Moreno,… (Los Angeles Times )

Chi Cheng

Deftones bassist injured in car crash

Chi Cheng, 42, the bassist for the Grammy-winning rock band the Deftones, died Saturday at a Sacramento hospital from injuries he suffered in an automobile crash more than four years ago.

His mother, Jeanne Marie Cheng, announced his death on the website One Love for Chi that had been set up to support him.

In 2001, Cheng and his bandmates received a Grammy Award for best metal performance. He was a "powerful bassist who was larger than life on stage," according to a statement released this week by the Recording Academy, the organization that presents the Grammys.

"Although the group's early years were more heavy metal-based," the statement read, "they were one of the first bands to incorporate a more alternative and ethereal sound into their thunderous and visceral music, blazing a trail that newer bands continue to follow today."

Cheng played on five albums with the Sacramento-based band.

He was thrown from a car that collided head-on with another vehicle Nov. 4, 2008, in Santa Clara.

Despite spending years in a coma, he had recently shown some signs of improvement, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Chi Ling Dai Cheng was born in 1970 in Davis and joined the Deftones shortly after the band formed in 1988. After the accident, the Deftones continued making music with Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega taking over for Cheng.

Cheng was also a poet. In 2000, he released a CD of his poetry, "The Bamboo Parachute."

Errol Mann

Raiders kicker in 1977 Super Bowl

Errol Mann, 71, the kicker for the Oakland Raiders team that won the 1977 Super Bowl, died April 11 at his home in Missoula, Mont., the Sunset Memorial Funeral Home confirmed. The Missoulian newspaper said he died of a heart attack.

Mann spent 11 seasons in the NFL, playing for the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and the Raiders.

Midway through the 1976 season, he joined the Raiders. He made two field goals in the season-ending Super Bowl, a 32-14 victory over Minnesota. The next year, he led the NFL in scoring with 99 points.

Mann lived in Missoula for the last 25 years and had worked as a financial broker.

He was born June 27, 1941, in Breckenridge, Minn., graduated from high school in Campbell, Minn., and played college football at the University of North Dakota.

"My mother was widowed and handicapped and raised us three," said Mann's sister, Bonnie Gran of Fergus Falls, Minn. "She always said, 'No quitters in this house.' I thought Errol really followed that through with his NFL career.... Everything Errol did, he did with determination."

George Jackson

Prolific writer of soul, rock, blues tunes

George Jackson, 68, a songwriter whose credits include "Old Time Rock and Roll" and hundreds of other soul, rock, and rhythm and blues tunes, died Sunday at his Mississippi home, said Thomas Couch Sr., board chairman of Malaco Records. Jackson had been sick with cancer for about a year.

A native of Greenville, Miss., Jackson was writing songs by the time he was in his teens. It was Ike Turner who brought Jackson to New Orleans R&B pioneer Cosimo Matassa's studio, where he recorded his first song in 1963.

Jackson recorded dozens of singles in the 1960s, but made his mark as a writer in the middle of the decade, beginning with Fame Studios. He later was a songwriter for Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and Malaco.

The Osmonds recorded Jackson's "One Bad Apple" in 1970, taking it to No. 1 the next year. Jackson and Thomas Jones III wrote "Old Time Rock and Roll," which Bob Seger recorded in 1978. Seger later claimed some credit for the song made famous when Tom Cruise lip-synched to it in the 1983 film "Risky Business."

Besides Seger, the Osmonds and Ike and Tina Turner, Jackson's songs were also recorded by James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Clarence Carter. In the 1980s, Jackson wrote "Down Home Blues" for Z.Z. Hill, a song which was a keystone for Malaco. The Mississippi label is a storehouse of soul, rhythm and blues and gospel music.

Sir Colin Davis

Principal conductor of London Symphony

Sir Colin Davis, 85, the former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and one of Britain's elder statesmen of classical music, died Sunday after a short illness, the orchestra said.

Davis first conducted the orchestra in 1959 and was the principal conductor from 1995 until 2006, when he became president of the organization.

Associated in particular with the works of Mozart, Sibelius and Berlioz, Davis won three Grammy Awards — two in 2002 for the orchestra's recording of the opera "Les Troyens" by Berlioz, and one for Verdi's "Falstaff" four years later.

Colin Rex Davis was born in the southern England town of Weybridge on Sept. 25, 1927, one of seven children of a bank clerk. His parents were music enthusiasts but did not play instruments. He learned to play clarinet as a child and knew at a young age that he wanted to be a conductor.

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