Train Bassist Charlie Colin Dies at 58 in Tragic Accident in Brussels


In the atmospheric hub of Brussels, tragedy struck the music world as Charlie Colin, enduring bassist and one of the founding members of the acclaimed band, Train, passed away. Remembered fondly by many for the band’s wildly popular early-millinneum hits such as “Drops of Jupiter” and “Meet Virginia,” Colin was just 58 years old.

The sorrowful news of her brother’s unexpected demise was shared by Colin’s sister, Carolyn Stephens. The unfortunate incident occurred when Colin slipped and fell in the shower, leading to his untimely demise while he was on a job house-sitting for a friend in Brussels.

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Born and raised in the warm embrace of Southern California, Colin’s passion for music led him to the hallowed halls of Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduation, he lent his skillful fingers to the group known as Apostles, where he played alongside the likes of gifted guitarist Jimmy Stafford and expressive singer Rob Hotchkiss. However, that ensemble would not last, leading Colin to temporarily relocate to Singapore to find inspiration in writing jingles.

After their respective musical sojourns, Colin, Hotchkiss, and Stafford sought new horizons in San Francisco. It was here that destiny called, and Train was formed in the early ‘90s with the addition of the silky-voiced Pat Monahan. Completing this musical puzzle was drummer Scott Underwood, whose inclusion was orchestrated by Colin himself, as revealed in a nostalgic interview with Berklee’s alumni magazine.

As a fixture in the world of pop-rock, Colin’s infectious bass riffs contributed to Train’s first three records, each offering its own kaleidoscope of emotions. Their debut in 1998 was just the beginning, but it was through the immense acceptance of “Drops of Jupiter” in 2001, and “My Private Nation” in 2003, that Train found their sweet spot, both albums sitting pretty at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart.

While “Meet Virginia” marked the genesis of the band’s journey into the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, it was their second album that cemented their status in the music industry. Armed with the unforgettable title track, “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” a piece crafted passionately about the death of Monahan’s mother, Train skyrocketed into music supremacy. This single earned them two prestigious Grammys, including ‘Best Rock Song.’

However, the band parted ways with Colin in 2003, due to his struggles with substance abuse. Despite these challenges, his talent remained undeniable. In 2015, he reunited with former bandmate, Rob Hotchkiss, and together, they formed a new band titled the Painbirds. Fast forward two years later, and Colin was stirring up melodies with another band, The Side Deal.

A heart-warming tribute surfaced on Train’s social media pages in honor of Colin, with promises of keeping his memory alive in their hearts. His artistic endeavors extended beyond music as the creative director for the Newport Beach Film Festival, evident in the heart-felt words spoken by Todd Quartararo, co-founder of the festival. As the glistening Brussels skyline watches, Colin leaves behind a legacy of the hypnotic rhythm of his bass, his loving parents, sister, and niece.