February 3, 1959, is known as “The Day The Music Died,” so let’s call July 10, 2011, the start of “The Week The Bassists Went Crazy.” You’ve already heard about how Coheed And Cambria’s low-end man robbed a Massachusetts pharmacy on Sunday, but reports say that Nick Oliveri, the impressively goateed former bassist for Queens Of The Stone Age (on Rated R and Songs For The Deaf), was arrested Tuesday night after an armed standoff with a SWAT team at his Hollywood duplex.
TMZ reports—two words that are a disclaimer all their own—that a neighbor of Oliveri called the police to report a disturbance between the bassist and his girlfriend, who was returning to the house after a fight the previous day to pick up her stuff. (She told police he had hit her during the initial fight.) By the time police showed up, Oliveri had locked the doors to the house and refused to let her leave. The SWAT team was called for backup, and Oliveri held out for nearly two hours before letting his girlfriend leave. He gave himself up two hours after that and was arrested for felony domestic violence. TMZ also says that, when police searched the duplex following the arrest, they found a fully loaded, high-powered rifle.
While nothing quite on this scale has happened before with Oliveri, he was originally fired from QOTSA in 2004 for, as the press release put it, “a number of incidents” relating to his personal conduct. Frontman Josh Homme put it less softly in a 2004 interview with MTV: “He’s a tornado, and a tornado just destroys and goes on to the next city,” Homme said. “I’m in the tornado cleanup crew, and all I ever see is his detritus, and I’m sick of it.”