Former Sponge Guitarist Mike Cross Dead at 57
The rock world has lost another talented musician as original Sponge guitarist Mike Cross has died at the age of 57. (featured second in from right with blonde hair in the photo above).
Though no cause of death was revealed, his passing was marked not only by Sponge, but also by his most recent group MC Roads and their label Golden Robot Records.
Cross was best known for his work in Sponge where he played alongside his brother Tim Cross as well as singer Vinnie Dombroski, guitarist Joey Mazzola and drummers Jimmy Paluzzi and Charlie Grover between 1992-2000, eventually exiting over creative differences. That period proved to be the most prolific era for the band, starting with 1994's Rotting Pinata, which yielded the band's breakout singles "Plowed" and "Molly (Sixteen Candles)." He also appeared on the 1996 follow-up Wax Ecstatic featuring the title track and "Have You Seen Mary" and 1999's New Pop Sunday album featuring the songs "Live Here Without You" and "1000 Times."
"It is with heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Mike Cross. One of the musical architects and founding member of Sponge. His influence and talent will be missed," stated the group via social media.
After his exit from the band, Cross turned away from music for a period but continued to write, record and produce various projects. He would eventually return as a recording artist as the lead singer and guitarist for the band MC Roads, which issued their No Nostalgia EP last fall via Golden Robot Records.
"It is with overwhelming sadness and shock that we inform you that Mike Cross passed away Sunday March 6th," stated MC Roads on their social media. "Mike was a founding member and lead guitarist of Loudhouse and Sponge which produced the gold (and then some) record Rotting Piñata. In recent years Mike formed MC Roads and released the EP No Nostalgia. Taking the new music on the road was going to be the next step. Gone way too soon. We love you so much Mike."
The Golden Robot Records account also issued a statement that read, "We are devastated to hear of the passing of our rock n roll brother and GRR family member - Mike Cross. What a gracious, wonderful human who had the voice of a husky angel and played guitar like the best of them, all of our global team wish music love to his brother Tim, bandmates, friends and family. A sad day for rock n roll but a great day for that ever expanding rock band in heaven …. Who we are sure Mike is part of now
We will miss you Mike xxx."
Revisit some of Cross' best known works with Sponge in the players below.