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Death Halts Pumpkins’ World Tour

Sat., July 13, 1996, midnight

A keyboard player touring with the Smashing Pumpkins was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose in his room at the Regency Hotel in Manhattan Friday, the same day the alternative rock band was to perform the first of two sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden, the police said.

The band’s drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, was later arrested on charges of heroin possession.

The Smashing Pumpkins, a Chicago quartet that had hired the keyboard player, Jonathan Melvoin, 34, as a back-up musician for its current world tour, postponed all its upcoming concerts.

Melvoin and Chamberlin, 32, arrived at the hotel at 11 p.m. Thursday night, and later passed out after injecting heroin, said Capt. Michael Collins, a Police Department spokesman. When Chamberlin awoke, he found he could not rouse Melvoin.

Paramedics arrived at 4:30 a.m. and declared Melvoin dead, and Chamberlin was arrested.

Tags: obituary

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