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Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell retires, citing ‘physical and mental health issues’

Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth performing on stage.
Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell performs in 2017.
(Gary Miller / Getty Images)

Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell announced his retirement following the uproar over a concert performance that one attendee described as “the most chaotic show I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”

Representatives for Smash Mouth said Tuesday that Harwell, 54, has left the band to focus on what they described as longstanding medical issues.

“Despite Steve’s best efforts to work through these ailments, he is heartbroken to share that it has become impossible for him to continue doing what he loves most, performing in front of the band’s millions of fans around the world,” they said.

“I’ve tried so hard to power through my physical and mental health issues, and to play in front of you one last time, but I just wasn’t able to,” Harwell added in a statement, saying he expects the band to continue without him. “I cannot wait to see what Smash Mouth accomplishes next.”

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Video of the concert showed Harwell slurring words, threatening audience members (“I’ll f— kill your whole family, I swear to God,” he told one fan) and giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute to the crowd.

A spokesperson for the group said Harwell “has suffered profusely over the years with several types of addiction leading to medical and mental health issues,” including cardiomyopathy and Wernickes encephalopathy, a condition that “has greatly impacted his motor functions including speech and impaired memory.”

Regarding the apparent Nazi salute, they said that the singer “regrets his actions, but this Tik Tok video is not an accurate representation of the man Steve is.”

Singing great Dionne Warwick, riding the viral success of her Twitter persona, has helped her son open a sound bath and meditation center in Venice.

Eve 6 singer Max Collins, a contemporary of Smash Mouth’s, said on Twitter Monday that “i just want this guy to get clean cuz this is sad pull him off the road 90 meetings in 90 days or ur gonna have another dead rockstar on ur hands.”

Smash Mouth is best known for hits “All Star” and “I’m a Believer,” a cover of the Monkees’ classic.

The band was widely criticized for performing at last year’s Sturgis motorcycle rally, a likely COVID-19 superspreader event.


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