Vince Welnick, 51, the Grateful Dead's last keyboard player and a veteran of other bands, including the Tubes and Missing Man Formation, died Friday in Los Angeles, the Grateful Dead's longtime publicist, Dennis McNally, said yesterday. Mr. McNally would not release the cause of death.

Mr. Welnick was the last in a long line of Grateful Dead keyboardists, several of whom died prematurely.

He had replaced Brent Mydland, who died of a drug overdose in 1990. Mr. Mydland succeeded Keith Godchaux, who died in a car crash shortly after leaving the band. And Mr. Godchaux had replaced the band's original keyboard player, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, who died at 27 in 1973.

Mr. Welnick was the last musician to join the group before the 1995 death of lead guitarist and unofficial leader Jerry Garcia.

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