We are quite sad to hear that the original Atomic Punks guitarist, Bart Walsh, died Saturday, at the age of 56. According to Walsh’s family, the cause of his death was gastrointestinal bleed and dehydration.
David Lee Roth recruited Walsh, straight out of the Atomic Punks, to be his lead guitar player in 1999.
The Atomic Punks declared on Facebook, “It’s with great sadness, shock and a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to original Atomic Punks founder & guitarist Bart Walsh.
“Bart was the driving force behind the band in the early days & we are forever grateful for him & all of his hard work to get this band off the ground. Many people would probably say he was partly responsible in large part for the whole Tribute Band explosion over the last 25 years.
“He was also the first Atomic Punks guitarist to be taken from us by David Lee Roth for his touring band.
“We will all miss him dearly and continue to end our shows with his favorite Van Halen song.
“If we know Bart, he’s already putting together the next VH All-Star band in heaven.
RIP Bart, we love ya!
Joe Lester from the punks added, “Very sad since hearing about the news about our Atomic Punks founder and 1st guitarist and great friend Bart Walsh. Wanted to take a little time before posting this and scan some old photos to share in his honor.
Those were great, great times in these photos! The beginning of The Atomic Punks. I’m forever grateful that Bart and the guys chose me to play bass in the band back in 1994.
We will all miss him and his big heart. So full of ideas and ways to help others.
Truly a sad day and a big loss for all of his friends and family!
I’m sure he’s already jamming with the legends in Heaven.
Love Ya Bart!!”
From Blackbird Management:
Bart Walsh is a veteran guitarist, who is best known as the original guitarist for the amazing Van Halen Tribute band The Atomic Punks. His years spent performing with them caught the eye of VH frontman David Lee Roth, and he was soon recruited to join Dave on his 1999 world tour as his lead guitarist.
Although Bart is best known for his time playing hard rock, he grew up under the tutalege of his great uncle Cecil Campbell, a country music hall of famer. He is truly an accomplished musician, whose playing is incredibly well rounded.
Schooled at the Musicians Institute in LA, along side notables like Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson), and Paul Gilbert (Racer X and Mr. Big) Walsh put together the band Lancia. They quickly became a top LA draw, and their self-titled CD was released in Japan to great acclaim.
After his time with the Atomic Punks and David Lee Roth, Bart worked with Poison frontman Bret Michaels for a while on one of his solo projects, and then went to work for Gibson Guitars. For several years Bart traveled all over for Gibson doing hundreds of clinics demonstrating their products, and educating buyers on all the things that make Gibson the company of legend that they are.
He is currently working on multiple projects, one with his wife Delaney, on her first full length CD release, where Bart has played all the guitars on the CD, as well as produced the entire disc. Delaney Walsh’s CD is an Americana release, covering the genres of blues, rock, folk, and country. Barts playing and production skills truly shine on this recording, as does the incredible vocals of his wife. When he isn’t in the studio Bart is hard at work on an all-star project called the Rock Dawgs, which features some of his closest friends and musicians, including grammy winning Judas Priest drummer Scott Travis.
The VHND spoke to Bart about his wish to start ‘The 6 Degrees of Van Halen” band back in April of this year.
The Dave & Dave Unchained podcast interviewed him in July.