Deftones began in 1988 in Sacramento and were soon signed by Maverick Records, where they released three platinum albums (Adrenaline in 1994, Around the Fur in 1997 and White Pony in 2000) and one gold album (Deftones in 2003). They also went on to release Saturday Night Wrist in 2006, which was the last album to feature bassist and founding member Chi Cheng, before a serious car accident in 2008 left him in a coma.
Since then many fundraising efforts were initiated to help pay for Chi’s medical treatment, including the website oneloveforchi, sales of the specially written song “A Song For Chi” and the compilation album “From Eastern Europe With love”. In February 2012 it appeared that Chi’s state was improving and he was eventually released from hospital after he was able to move his limbs on command, however he was quickly readmitted after he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Deftones carried on performing and recording in honour of Chi and released two well-received albums (Diamond Eyes in 2010 and Koi No Yokan in 2012) with bassist Sergio Vega. Meanwhile the support for Chi was constant and his condition began to show signs of improvement again.
Sadly Chi Cheng passed away on Saturday 13th April at the age of 42.
“Our dearest Family, this is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing. I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you. He was taken to the emergency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear. He fought the good fight. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone.” -Chi Cheng’s mother “Mom J”.
It is said that in times of need people’s true qualities come out. Throughout the last four and a half years no-one forgot about Chi and everyday people donated towards Chi’s recovery, helping raise over $18,000. This is an incredible achievement and a true testament to the good nature of people.
R.I.P Chi Cheng
You will be missed.