Report: The Long, Slow Decline Of Ex-MEAT PUPPETS Bassist CRIS KIRKWOOD

Michael Kiefer of The Arizona Republic reports that when former MEAT PUPPETS bassist Cris Kirkwood first was arrested on drug charges in March 1996, he had 170 pounds on his 5-foot-11 frame. When he was arrested last month on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, he weighed 300 (a result of binging on pretzels and Ben & Jerry's).

Kirkwood's longtime girlfriend Ruth Wilson cleaned him up. They formed a band. But Kirkwood's luck got no better.

In January 1999, he was sentenced to probation and community service for his earlier drug arrests.

In April, the new band's drummer committed suicide at Kirkwood's house.

Kirkwood was unable or unwilling to stay out of trouble. He missed hearings. He failed to do his community service. And in January 2000, he was sent to jail.

But it didn't stop there. In June 2002, he was again sentenced to probation for drugs.

He was penniless. He had lost his fortune, his house and his teeth.

Cris Kirkwood withdrew from the world, but he was trying to lose his drug addiction.

"He's been very reclusive," Wilson said. "He's been very upset about his physical appearance because he's gained a lot of weight and his dental situation has really gone to crap. We're working on that." Read more.

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