The grunge rock band Screaming Trees’ co-founder and bassist Van Conner passed away at the age of 55. In a Facebook post on Wednesday, his brother, Gary Lee, confirmed the news and stated that his brother had passed away on Tuesday after a protracted illness. He wrote that pneumonia ultimately took his brother’s life. “He was one of the closest friends I ever had and I loved him immensely. I will miss him forever and ever and ever,” he added.
Gary Lee on 5 January gave followers an update on his brother’s health, stating that Van had been sent to the hospital with “a liver infection” and had been suffering from an assortment of health problems since late 2021. In a long post, he described Van’s health issues, claiming that he was unable to move after being put into a coma before Christmas 2021 due to emergency stomach surgery. During his recovery, Conner also contracted COVID, which led to a blood clot in his lungs that badly damaged the organ.
Lee said at the time said that Conner has been confined to a hospital bed at home for several months and has not seemed to be making any progress towards recovery. He added that his brother had been avoiding getting the medical help he needs and asked fans to send positive vibes or pray for him. In a follow-up update on Jan. 9, he said Van seems to be making progress, his liver is not completely shot but it was touch and go for a few days last week.
Conner was confined to a hospital bed at home for a number of months, and according to Lee at the time, he was not appearing to be making any progress toward recovery. He said that his brother had been delaying receiving the necessary medical care and urged supporters to pray or send good vibes his way. he Later, Lee stated in a follow-up update on 9 January that Van seems to be improving and his liver is not entirely damaged.
Midway through the 1980s, the two brothers, drummer Mark Pickerel, and vocalist Mark Lanegan—who passed away last year at the age of 57—formed the Washington-based band. In the 1980s and 1990s, Screaming Trees was a part of the Pacific Northwest’s budding grunge music movement, which subsequently gave rise to ground-breaking bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.
In 1991, Screaming Trees released their fifth album, Uncle Anesthesia, which was co-produced by late Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell and marked the band’s debut on a big label. Their debut single, “Bed of Roses,” came from that album. With the track “Nearly Lost You,” from their subsequent album Sweet Oblivion, which was released in 1992, the band gained widespread recognition. The song was used in the soundtrack for Cameron Crowe’s 1992 movie Singles. After leaving the group, Van went on to start the rock groups VALIS and Musk Ox, and in 2010, Gary Lee started the group Microdot Gnome.