Robert Wayne Birch, Elton John bassist, found dead in Los Angeles

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 25: Elton John (R) and bassist Bob Birch (L) perform at the Wells Fargo Center on March 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The concert was held on the singers 64th birthday. (Photo Jeff Fusco/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Elton John;Bob Birch Jeff Fusco

Elton John and bassist Robert Wayne Birch perform at the Wells Fargo Center on March 25, 2011, in Philadelphia.
Jeff Fusco
(CBS News) LOS ANGELES - Robert Wayne Birch, who spent two decades working as a backup musician and bass player for Elton John, reportedly was found dead near Los Angeles early Wednesday morning from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Los Angeles County Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter told Reuters that the death of the 56-year-old musician is "being investigated as a possible suicide."

Birch's body was found just after 1 a.m. PT in a home in the San Fernando Valley.

Rolling Stone magazine reports that Birch joined Elton John's touring band in the early 1990s. He played bass on four of John's studio albums. Although he spends much of his time touring with John, Birch also worked with such artists as Billy Joel, B.B. King, Keith Emerson, Corinne Bailey Rae and Steve Archer.

  • CBS News Staff

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