Former Survivor bassist Stephan Ellis, who performed on their smash hit ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, has passed away at the age of 69.
Ellis was a member of the iconic band from 1981 until 1987, before joining again from 1996 to 1999 and again in 2005, and contributed to a number of their other hits including ‘Burning Heart’ (from the Rocky IV soundtrack), ‘The Search Is Over’ and more.
Survivor guitarist Frankie Sullivan confirmed the sad news of Ellis’s death on the band’s official Facebook page, but did not say how he died.
“We are devastated to hear that Stephan Ellis has passed away,” he writes. “Steph was the guy who was only interested in the music. He absolutely had a special charm with the fans and within the band. I loved much when it came to Steph.
“What I remember most and clearly recall is the day when we cut ‘Keep It Right Here’. The Bass part and lines in the intro just folded into the mix and it was the bass part that inspired me to reach higher on my guitar. We cut our tracks together, live in the studio. Steph’s runs on the neck of that blue bass are as memorable as the song itself.”
His statement continues:
“The guitar player/bass player vibe has been around for a long time and Stephan and I had our thing as well. We fed off each other a lot and I think it was simply his calm ways that not only presented him to me in the beginning, it was also Steph’s calm ways that often helped most. He was always good for some adventurous storytelling that the censorship of today has removed, never to be told by this band reporter. But I learned a few things, we all did…!!!!”
I will miss Stephan, we all will. We can talk for years about how much he’d cause us to laugh and most importantly to a rock n’ roll band at that time, the infamous ‘ice’ lesson he passed on to us all one day that stuck for a long while.
This was Stephan Ellis to me –Underrated yet never dated. Well dressed and on a consistent basis. Gargoyles and all and he was cool enough to pull off. Stephan was well-coifed, always ready and Stephan Ellis lived his own life in his own way and on his own terms.
We Love you Steph!”
Relive Ellis’s ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ glory below.