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The Shins’ James Mercer mourns late ex-bandmate Neal Langford

The Shins Perform At The Warfield
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The Shins frontman James Mercer has shared a statement mourning the death of the band’s former bassist, Neal Langford.

“Just want to let you guys know one of the best friends I’ve ever had has passed,” Mercer wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday, July 27. “He was in several bands with me including the Shins. A very important figure in my life you could say.”

“I mean this is the guy who talked me into getting over my shyness and up on the stage,” Mercer continued. “He put me in front of the microphone! He was the catholic school kid who showed me how to sneak into the back of the old El Rey theatre and get a ‘free’ beer. An invaluable person!”

Langford was a member of The Shins from 2000 to 2003 and played on their 2001 debut album, Oh, Inverted World. The record spawned the single “New Slang” aka the song that changed Natalie Portman‘s life in Garden State.

“There’s too much to the story but I loved him,” Mercer wrote. “And I owe him a lot. Neal Langford you were always loved and you always will be.”

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