Thursday, May 08, 2008


[here is the piece I wrote for nuvo about LonPaul's musical career. click here]

I'm getting really tired of this.
LonPaul died yesterday.

He's one of those people that I've known forever, but not sure when I met him. He was a brilliant musician and sound engineer (Evan was in town because he was recording at LonPaul's studio).

I got to see LP Saturday night when he stopped in the Red Key. He was hanging out with a group of other smart, cool, musical folks. I was really happy to see him and I don't know what got in to me, but as I was serving LP his Coke in the cool little glass bottle, I almost kissed him on the top of his head. I stopped myself in time- I don't think that he would have minded, but it would be an odd thing to have your waitress do.

I was enjoying the group so much that I snapped this quick photograph between making drinks. Ironically LP is not in the photo, but you can see his empty chair to the right of the guy in the plaid shirt.

LonPaul worked at the coffeehouse for a while, both behind the counter and as the baker. The baker's job is perfect for a musician. As long as the muffins were done by 6:00 in the morning, it did not matter what schedule the bakers kept.

That said, I didn't feel like LP and I had ever quite bonded. I was his 'boss,' AVS's girlfriend and a friend of his mom's. That changed one night.

As some of you may know, I hung out with the punk-rock band, Dow Jones and the Industrials when I was a Purdue student. Twenty-some years later we hosted a benefit for the DJI drummer, Timmy North. As the date was getting closer, it was becoming increasing clear that Timmy was not able to travel to Indiana from California, and in fact died before the scheduled gig.

The members of DJI decided to go on with the show as a the fundraiser for Tim’s wife and daughter. LonPaul stepped in as drummer. I think I was more nervous than LP about the show, he was working at CATH at the time and I felt some how responsible for him.

Of course he was fabulous.
He was a long-time DJI fan and nailed the set.

The rest of us forgot that we weren’t 19 anymore, and I had a dozen people sleeping at my small house. We were scattered on air mattresses and tucked in corners of the living room. We’d finally fallen asleep when LonPaul burst through the unlocked front door at 4:00 am saying that it was the best night of his life. Everyone clapped and tucked back in to their blankets.

I made room for LP on the sofa and we laughed and replayed the night in whispers.

I loved seeing him so happy and enthusiastic and hopeful.

Please read Kirsten's blog to see a wonderful photograph of LonPaul and his son, Rupert.


Ralph said...

Sorry Nora. You're so right the passing of friends and people you know is always hard to take and one after another is just plain wrong.
LP doesn't look like he was that old either.

Janell said...

So sorry, Nora. I think sometimes a death is hardest on the friends. The family gets food and cards and memorial money... the friends get lonely.

God bless you.

Cliff said...

Sorry about this Nora.
I have read to the bottom of this page. Man I've been missing out. You are entirely too busy. I loved the April re-do. A busy month for sure.