Longtime Laaz Rockit and Dublin Death Patrol bassist Willy Lange has passed away at the age of 57, his bandmates have confirmed, following a motorcycle accident. The bass player joined Laaz Rockit in 1983 and performed on the albums “City’s Gonna Burn,” “Stranger To Danger,” “Know Your Enemy” and “Annihilation Principle” before the band broke up, but took part in their reunion, performing on their latest album, “Left For Dead,” which was released in 2008. Tributes have been pouring in from the metal community including his bandmates and peers.
Lääz Rockit vocalist Michael Coons posted the following via Facebook: “In shock… the important thing is to honor Willy Langenhuizen and his family at this time… I will get back to all of you when I’m able to… too difficult right now to do so, please understand.”
Willy’s Dublin Death Patrol bandmate, Testament frontman Chuck Billy, wrote: “Today I lost my best friend Willy. You were the person I could always count on and I love you for that, I will never forget the wonderful times we shared, see you on the other side, my friend.”
Bassist Greg Christian (Trauma, ex-Testament) posted: “Rest In Peace, Willy Lange! I’m still kind of in disbelief. I haven’t seen him in about 5 years but I always liked Willy. He was cool. It sucks I won’t see him again. Also, I want to say, Willy got Legacy our first real show back in ’84. The Stone with Lääz Rockit and Slayer. I’m thankful and appreciate that Willy did that for us. And never forgot. It was a good thing. Anyway .. I’m still stunned here and don’t know what to say. Except this is sad news. Truly. Rest In Peace Metal Brother / Bass Brother!!! Rest In Peace!!!”
Guitarist Phil Demmel (Machine Head, ex-Vio-Lence) took to Instagram to pay tribute, saying: “We lost a Dublin legend in shocking fashion. Willy Langenhuizen was taken from his loving family and our town is left with a huge void. One of the nicest, most caring and friendly dudes. Will was someone I looked up to and respected especially in my early years of playing as we was already in established bands, playing clubs. That helped introduce me into a scene that would become my life. Watching and meeting Slayer as the opener for Willy’s band Lääz Rockit. After Lars ripped on Lääz on Rampage Radio, Will wages war on Metallica claiming the Dublin Death Patrol doesn’t fuck around. Pretty sure Lars called for a truce and then later almost got the bass gig after Cliff died! I played in a few City Hoops leagues with him and he hated to lose, played hard and shot lights out from downtown. Same with golf, dude was a natural. All of my heart goes out to Kell and their kids and for them to know how much we ALL care and will be there to support. Goodbye, Willy. Thank you and Rest In Peace.”