Charlie Colin: Music, Life and Death

Charlie Colin (1965/1966 – 2024) was an American musician, best known for his role as the bassist for the rock band Train. His musical journey showcased his versatility, as he also played guitar and contributed background vocals for various bands after leaving Train in 2003.

Also Read: Roger Corman, Hollywood Mentor and ‘King of the Bs,’ Passes Away at 98

Early Life

Born in the mid-1960s, Charlie Colin started playing guitar around the age of eight while living in Virginia. Later, his family moved to Newport Beach, California. During his time at Newport Harbor High School, he developed a love for surfing and playing water polo, with the guitar remaining a constant companion.

Berklee College of Music

Charlie Colin attended the University of Southern California to explore his artistic talents, but halfway through, he transferred to the Berklee College of Music in Boston to focus primarily on his musical abilities. At Berklee, Colin became fully immersed in music, playing with senior students to learn more. He discovered influential artists like Pat Metheny and was exposed to various other kinds of music during his time there.


After spending some time in Singapore, Charlie Colin, Jimmy Stafford (Train’s future lead guitarist and mandolin player), and Rob Hotchkiss moved to San Francisco and formed the group Apostles. The band secured a record deal and recorded an album titled “Apostles” in 1992. However, when the record label folded, the members went their separate ways.


Rob Hotchkiss moved to San Francisco and met Pat Monahan, who would become Train’s lead singer. They began collaborating on songs in the Bay Area and invited Jimmy Stafford to join as the guitarist and Charlie Colin as the bassist. Colin brought in Scott Underwood to play drums, and thus, Train was formed in 1993. The band achieved significant success, scoring their first Top 20 hit with “Meet Virginia” in 1999. Their major breakthrough came with “Drops of Jupiter” in 2001, which reached No. 5 on the charts. The album “Drops of Jupiter” also performed well, reaching No. 6 on the Billboard 200.

Food Pill

In the autumn of 2002, after Train finished promoting “Drops of Jupiter” with Matchbox Twenty, Scott Underwood and Charlie Colin moved to a “huge psychedelic mansion” called The Paramour in West Hollywood. There, they collaborated and recorded music, naming their project Food Pill. Their first album was titled “Elixir.”

Later Life and Death

In 2015, Charlie Colin reunited with Rob Hotchkiss to start a new band called Painbirds, along with Tom Luce. In 2017, he formed another band, the Side Deal, with Sugar Ray’s Stan Frazier and the PawnShop Kings’ Joel and Scott Owen. Colin passed away in 2024 at the age of 58 after slipping and falling in the shower while house-sitting for a friend in Brussels, Belgium.

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