Preston Hubbard, Ex-Bassist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dies
Preston Hubbard, who played bass with the Fabulous Thunderbirds during their greatest period of fame, has died. He was 63.
The cause of death is not known to the public at this time. American Blues Scene says that he was found dead in his home on Wednesday.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he began playing bass at age 14 and, within a few years, fell in love with the blues, in particular Muddy Waters and his bass player, Willie Dixon. He eventually joined Roomful of Blues, the veteran blues/swing band based out of Rhode Island.
In 1984, he joined the Fabulous Thunderbirds, which coincided with their signing to Epic. His first record with them, 1986’s Tuff Enuff, saw them land two hit singles, the Top 10 title track and a cover of Sam & Dave’s “Wrap It Up.” A couple of years later saw them have another hit when “Powerful Stuff” was the first single released from the soundtrack to the Tom Cruise film, Cocktail. He stayed in the Thunderbirds for 10 years, during which time he also contributed as a session musician to Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time.
Unfortunately, Hubbard was also a longtime drug user. The first-person bio on his website goes into great detail about his addictions, and he even spent two years in jail in Texas after his fourth bust.
Following his release, he moved to St. Louis and became a part of that city’s blues scene. But although, according to the Riverfront Times, he had quit heroin by this point, he was drinking heavily. A diabetic, two years ago, he found himself in the emergency room as a result of what he called “critical blood sugar.” It took three blood transfusions and insulin treatments and 30 hours before he was declared stable. It was suggested at the that his years of hard living had caught up with him.
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