Home > Diary, Set Lists, Thoughts > Goodbye To Larry Coryell… Love Ya Brother!

Goodbye To Larry Coryell… Love Ya Brother!

February 21st, 2017 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments

Larry Coryell
April 2, 1943—February 19, 2017

I was so sad to hear about Larry’s passing yesterday. Up at the Fur Peace Ranch we were all looking forward to sharing time with him later this year. He was going to teach and play a concert for us at the Fur Peace Station.

Larry and I go back a long, long time. I met him in New York City in 1966. It was one of the very early trips to NYC for the Airplane and we were staying at some ‘affordable’ hotel. It was either the Albert or the Van Rensselaer, I can’t remember. I think Mike Bloomfield introduced us and we became friends. As a musician Larry was light years ahead of me. I was just transitioning from folk music to rock and roll. The electric guitar and I were just getting to know each other. Larry graciously made this introduction attainable. He showed me lots of stuff I could never do, and some that I still do. Thanks buddy!

We reconnected about a decade ago when he graced us with his presence at the Fur Peace Ranch. One of the nice things about old friends is that no matter how long it has been since you saw each other, when you finally get together is seems as if it were only yesterday!

The second time Larry came to the Ranch, G.E.Smith was there too. I recall G.E. sitting in with Larry for a song or two. They did a version of Wichita Lineman I will never forget. Stunning!

There is never a good time for bad news and I was sorrowed to hear that Larry was gone. I will miss our occasional intersections but his spirit and friendship will live in my heart.

Fair winds and following seas brother… fair winds and following seas.

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  1. Brian Doyle
    February 21st, 2017 at 15:17 | #1

    I was going to post this when I found out last night but wasn’t sure if you knew him. Larry’s Wikipedia page said he went back to school because he wasn’t confident he was good enough to play guitar professionally.

    Larry knew and jammed with Jimi Hendrix because of Larry’s reputation in Greenwich Village. He told a friend of mine that after the Band Of Gypsies show Larry, Hendrix, and a bunch of others went up to Tweed Blvd in Rockland County (where I come from) to watch the sun rise over the Hudson River. Tweed Blvd is along the Palisades cliffs overlooking the Hudson.

  2. February 21st, 2017 at 19:49 | #2

    I am so glad and grateful that I had my one opportunity to learn in Larry’s class. He was in the upper one percentile of guitar players. After I got to meet him and spend some tome with him I realized he was also in the upper one percentile of people. Tough loss. I hope he’s at peace because he will be missed.

  3. Howard Wade
    February 21st, 2017 at 20:37 | #3

    So sorry to hear about Larry Coryell’s death. The losses just keep comin’. My little clan here in Portland lost an old and dear friend yesterday as well.

  4. Rob
    February 21st, 2017 at 22:01 | #4

    What a guitar player! “Live at the Village Gate” is one rip-roaring album–one of my favorites. I saw him a few times–once with Jack at BB King’s in NYC for a Hendrix tribute that included such other luminaries as Jim McCarty and Terry Reid, all playing Hendrix tunes together. The most recent time was a couple of years ago at an Eleventh House reunion at the Blue Note with Randy Brecker and Alphonse Mouzon, who also died just a couple of months ago. Another great, great loss to the musical community.

  5. Mark K
    February 22nd, 2017 at 00:38 | #5

    75 years is a long time but not long enough. I guess though he did have a “Full Go Round” and I bet he wished he could have been with you at that gig later this year. Its unfortunate but a fact of life that as we get older we lose more and more especially the special people in our lives. It sure seems that over the last few years too many of your blogs have been about the lose of good people. So lets all make it count, don’t take things for granted and continue to tell those we love how we feel. I for one am so glad that Donna and I found love again a few years ago and have a happy life again with each other now at age 60, didn’t see that one coming. Will be looking forward to the shows in April, now that’s living.

  6. eaglesteve
    February 22nd, 2017 at 11:25 | #6

    Remembering Papa John this day. Gone since 1994, age 76, but never forgotten. RIP brother.

  7. willy
    February 22nd, 2017 at 11:33 | #7

    Also remembering another notable guitarist, John Fahey who died this day in 2001 at far too early an age (61). A great player.

  8. Mitch Spector
    February 22nd, 2017 at 12:19 | #8

    I met Larry in 1981 in Honolulu Hawaii at one of his solo acoustic shows .I had been very into him as at that time the progressive jazz movement was in full bloom here in New York with radio station WRVR playing this style of music i was hooked .He was outstanding i was by myself as i was traveling with my late Mom ad Dad so i was so excited to see Larry as soon as i saw he was playing .It was in a small Dinner style theatre and being alone i got to sit at an open seat row 1 directly in front of Larry .He played an amazing 11/2 hour set and was spectacular .After the show i ran into him still inside the theatre .We spent about 20-30 minutes speaking about music and new york and everything jazz/life .As a 21 year old music lover i was so happy to meet him and he was just the nicest man .So much talent traveled thru his fingers that night and it really was a highlight of my 6 weeks in hawaii .I often think fondly of that show and will never forget how nice a man and what a musician he was . My prayers go out to his family and friends .He will be missed .Peace Jorma .And thanks for letting me post this .

  9. February 22nd, 2017 at 13:13 | #9

    Thanks for the tribute. It’s difficult to lose people, especially if they’ve had a direct impact on our lives.

  10. Mark D
    February 23rd, 2017 at 15:03 | #10

    Thinking back, I believe I remember attending, with my friends Gregg and Ken, a show at SUNY New Paltz gym in the late ’70’s with the stellar double bill of Larry Coryell and Jorma Kaukonen. If my details are correct, Jorma was wearing a grey suit, short hair and a wild looking tie. I may even have a low quality audience tape of the event that went on for about 3 or more hours. Hoping I am correct because it makes me smile broadly to believe I witnessed such a terrific display of guitar excellence by two of the best ever! Thanks for all the great music Larry and safe travels.

  11. Ham n Eggs
    February 24th, 2017 at 10:13 | #11

    Elting gym November 78(?)
    Larry finished his set strapping on electric guitar and letting loose. Great night
    Sorry for your loss Jorma
    Peace
    Love All Ways
    @Mark D

  12. willy
    February 24th, 2017 at 11:29 | #12

    This looks like it @Mark D and @Ham n Eggs…
    http://tunabase.com/setlists/1978/19781112.html

  13. DennisK
    February 24th, 2017 at 19:10 | #13

    Larry Coryell was an amazing guitarist.

    I was privileged to see him open for John Mclaughlin at Carnegie Hall in 1982. I was in the nose bleed section and I vividly recall hearing his foot tapping on stage. You could hear a pin drop. An unforgettable performance.

    RIP.

  14. Brian Doyle
    February 26th, 2017 at 02:05 | #14

    Hell hath no fury like the back side of rock unfulfilled:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJTIkpok6tU

  15. eaglesteve
  16. DennisK
    February 27th, 2017 at 19:06 | #16

    Papa John.

  17. Kevin
    February 27th, 2017 at 21:51 | #17

    I once took my future wife to see Papa John at the Stanhope House in NJ back in ‘81 or ‘82. I go hit the men’s room before we leave, when I come out there’s my girl getting marriage advice from Mrs. Papa John. Must have been solid advice ’cause we’re at 34 yrs and counting.

  18. Brian Doyle