This Sucks

The Phil Buerstatte Story Does Not Have a Happy Ending

  • Axl Rosenberg

Buerstatte White Zombie

This past September, a man claiming to be former White Zombie drummer Phil Buerstatte was arrested in Sausalito, California after attempting to pay for a four-week stay in a rehab facility with a fake check. Which is pretty much the saddest story ever as is, but became even sadder when authorities were unable to confirm the man’s identity, because that’s how disconnected from the world he had become. Even if you never liked White Zombie, there’s no denying that this is just a totally heartbreaking story.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a happy ending: Buerstatte — and I honestly don’t know if he ever turned out to actually be the guy in Sausalito or not — was found dead in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend. He was 44. The cause of death has yet to be reported.

Confirming that this guy was surrounded at all times by loved ones, Rob Zombie has posted the following touching tribute to Buerstatte on his website:

“It has been reported that White Zombie drummer Phil Buerstatte was found dead in Madison, Wisconsin this past weekend.

“Phil was drummer for White Zombie from 1992 to 1994. He played on the La Sexorcisto tour, as well as playing on tracks ‘Feed The Gods’ on The Airheads Soundtrack, ‘Children of the Grave’ and ‘I AM HELL’ from the Beavis and Butthead soundtrack.


Really makes you tear up, doesn’t it? I can only hope that someday, when I die, a former associate will list the portion of my resumé that pertains specifically to his own career on his website. It’s practically a viking funeral.

Because I feel like SOMEONE should pay tribute to the poor guy, here are the three Zombie tracks the band recorded with Buerstatte, including a live performance in which you can actually watch him behind the kit a little bit. If there’s such a thing as an afterlife, I hope someone is there to greet Buerstatte when he arrives, because HOLY HELL this whole story is so goddamn depressing.

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