Tour manager Michael Gehrke, a three-decade veteran of the Scorpions team who traveled the world with the band during their rise to international fame and beyond, has passed away at the age of 58.

The group broke the news via an emotional note posted at its Facebook page, which reads in part, "If someone accompanies you for more than 30 years, if you travel with him around the whole world, if you are always very close to him, then he is without a doubt a part of your family. Today Michael 'Commander' Gehrke, our dear friend and tour manager, was surprisingly and way too early, at the age of just 58 years, taken from us. We are deeply devistated and endlessly sad...RIP 'Commander,' your Scorpions."

Gehrke's absence is keenly felt by a number of the Scorpions faithful, some of whom responded to the news of his passing with stories about the many ways in which he reached out and welcomed familiar faces at the band's shows. Their post didn't divulge Gehrke's cause of death or say whether he's survived by any family, but our hearts go out to anyone affected by his sudden passing.

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