Obituaries, Jan. 26, 2023
Bob (Robert) Shindle, the Winnipeg-born veteran Front Of House Sound tech, died on Jan. 17 at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital of cancer.
ProfessionalSound.com noted that "Shindle's passion was sound engineering, and during a long and successful career, he worked with many renowned acts, including Kim Mitchell, Jeff Healey, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, and Colin James. Shindle also lent his talents to musicals such as Joseph and The Technicoloured Dreamcoat, Mamma Mia, and The Who’s: Tommy."
An obituary posted on Legacy.com noted that "Through his youth, Bob was an avid drummer and landed his first gig for a local band Zeebraz but shortly realized his real interest was in sound engineering.
Everyone in the industry knew and admired Bob's talent. His career and reputation as a premier sound engineer started with the bands he worked with from his hometown of Thunder Bay. As his notoriety began to circulate in Toronto, he began working with the recording act, Edward Bear and continued with Rhinegold (later, Gowan).
In the early '80s, he worked with Surrender, and Ronnie Hawkins, then Gowan, Jeff Healey, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Colin James, Kim Mitchell, and more. In the 1990s, he worked extensively on big musicals and was at the helm at Q107's Skylab Studios while continuing to work with the rock bands whose careers he had greatly contributed.
In later years, the National Ballet of Canada and The Canadian Opera lured him into their service, and he became the head Sound Engineer for their productions at Four Seasons Theatre in Toronto for the following two decades."
Tributes to Shindle's talent poured in as news of his passing spread.
Joe Rockman, bassist and co-founder of The Jeff Healey Band, posted this on Facebook: "Bobby was the premier Front Of House Sound Technician in Canada. I was thrilled when he contacted the Healey Band to offer his services in our earlier period - when we first started touring the US and EU. He could work with anyone, but he said he loved the band, and he did an amazing job, sometimes with less-than-desired equipment. A true genius at the sound console."
"I lament the loss of our good friend with his jovial spirit and wry sense of humour that kept us all laughing. I'll always remember him this way. My heart goes out to his Family and Friends."
A funeral will take place at Roadhouse & Rose Funeral Home (157 Main Street South, Newmarket, ON) on Sat, Feb 4, at 1 p.m. For online condolences, go to roadhouseandrose.com
Van Conner, bassist of Seattle grunge band Screaming Trees, died on Jan. 17, at age 55, after battling pneumonia.
Screaming Trees formed in Washington state in 1984 with Mark Lanegan on vocals, Van’s brother Gary on guitar, and drummer Mark Pickerel, who was replaced by Barrett Martin in 1991. Lanegan died on 22 February 2022.
Gary announced his brother’s passing on his socials, saying, “Van Conner 1967-2023. When I was about 8 years old, I had a dream I have remembered my whole life. I was in a cemetery. Van had died, and I desperately wanted to leave a letter on his grave I woke up shocked and never forgot it. I guess this is what the letter said, Love To Van Forever…”
Screaming Trees are best known for the hit Nearly Lost You from 1992’s Sweet Oblivion album.
Conner played on seven Screaming Trees albums until their break-up in 2000. He also released six albums with his side-project Solomon Grundy. Sources: Noise11, Stereogum
David Crosby, the legendary US singer/songwriter known for his work in The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, died on Jan. 18 at the age of 81
A statement from his publicist read: “It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music."
Born in Los Angeles on Aug. 14, 1941, Crosby began his career with The Byrds before joining up with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of The Hollies to form one of the most successful supergroups of all time, Crosby, Stills & Nash, in 1968. The trio added Neil Young a year later. He was an on-and-off member of the group throughout the years but contributed to notable albums such as 1970's Déjà Vu, 1975's So Far, and 1988's American Dream.
Crosby continued to record and tour, releasing music until the end and earning very positive reviews of recent albums.
His former bandmates paid tribute in online posts. Stephen Stills: "I read a quote in this morning’s paper attributed to composer Gustav Mahler that stopped me for a moment: 'Death has, on placid cat’s paws, entered the room.' I shoulda known something was up. David and I butted heads a lot over time, but they were mostly glancing blows, yet still left us numb skulls. I was happy to be at peace with him.
"He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius. The glue that held us together as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun. I am deeply saddened at his passing and shall miss him beyond measure.”
Neil Young (posted on Neil Young Archives): "David is gone, but his music lives on. The soul of CSNY, David’s voice and energy were at the heart of our band. His great songs stood for what we believed in and it was always fun and exciting when we got to play together."
"We had so many great times, especially in the early years. Crosby was a very supportive friend in my early life, as we bit off big pieces of our experience together. David was the catalyst of many things. Almost Cut My Hair and Deja Vu, and so many other great songs he wrote were wonderful to jam on, and [Stephen] Stills and I had a blast as he kept going on and on. His singing with Graham [Nash] was memorable, their duo spot a highlight of so many of our shows."
Graham Nash: "It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed. I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years.
"David was fearless in life and in music. He leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world. He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most. My heart is truly with his wife, Jan, his son, Django, and all of the people he has touched in this world."
The Guardian music scribe Alexis Petridis offered this analysis: "By all accounts, including his own, David Crosby could be a tricky and difficult character. His career was regularly punctuated by angry arguments, bitter fallings-out, sackings, and general discord. Joni Mitchell once waspishly suggested he was “a human hater”. His former bandmate Roger McGuinn described his behaviour while a member of the Byrds as that of a “little Hitler”.
"Perhaps the best way to describe him was mercurial. He could be utterly charming and mischievously funny – fans gave him the affectionate nickname the Old Grey Cat – and incredibly generous to other musicians: Mitchell, among others, owed him a great deal. He could also be impossible: overbearing, mouthy, convinced of his own brilliance. The thing was, he was right: Crosby genuinely was brilliant. He was blessed with a beautiful voice and an uncanny gift for harmony."
Canadian musicians also chimed in on Crosby, with Bob Segarini posting this: "From seeing him in The Byrds many, many times, from their beginnings as The Beefeaters (at The Brave New World), to following his raucous trajectory through the self-imposed roller coaster of his career, I always felt connected to Crosby and his passion for music and life ...and his ability to make bad decisions and tell the truth when he would have been better off (and smarter) not to.
"From full-blown rock star to having his hair in beer can rollers, to clean and sober, and higher than a kite, he was ALWAYS interesting, brilliant, and crazy. An Urban Hillbilly with a Harvard education and, thankfully, usually unarmed. Heartbreaking for so many reasons to so many people. God Speed, David."
In recent years, Toronto singer/songwriter Michelle Willis befriended Crosby and toured as a member of his Lighthouse band. She told CP's David Friend that Crosby was an encouraging mentor. "He was always demanding to know what I was writing and working on, telling me what he was working on, what artists he was listening to. Our calls were never very long, and I’d always hang up the phone just feeling better.”
Crosby and Willis have a final project together that was recorded with their Lighthouse Band tour mates Becca Stevens and Snarky Puppy founder Michael League. No release date has been set for the as-yet untitled album.
Sources: Variety, CP, The Guardian, BBC, Rolling Stone, CBC, Paste, UCR
Renée Rebecca Geyer, an Australian vocalist considered the country's best soul and R&B singer of the last four decades, died on Jan. 17, at age 69, of complications following hip surgery.
Geyer had commercial success as a solo artist in Australia with such cuts as It's a Man's Man's World, Heading in the Right Direction, and Stares and Whispers in the 1970s and Say I Love You in the 1980s. Geyer was also an internationally respected and sought-after backing vocalist whose session credits include work with Sting, Chaka Khan, Toni Childs and Joe Cocker.
In 2000, Geyer's autobiography, Confessions of a Difficult Woman, was published. In her candid book, she detailed her drug addictions, sex life and career in music. She described herself as "a white Hungarian Jew from Australia sounding like a 65-year-old black man from Alabama". She spent more than 10 years based in the US but had little chart success there under her own name, yet contributed to releases by Neil Diamond, Men at Work, Sting, Trouble Funk, and many others.
Geyer returned to Australia in the mid-1990s, and her career continued into the 21st century with her eleventh studio album Tenderland (2003), which peaked at No. 11 on the ARIA albums charts. Geyer was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame on 14 July 2005.
Read more in this Sydney Morning Herald obituary. Sources: Wikipedia, Sydney Morning Herald
Larry Morris (Coppins), leader of the New Zealand rock band Larry’s Rebels and later a solo artist, died on Jan. 16 at age 75. A cause of death has not been reported.
First formed in the 1960s, Morris and the band were inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame/Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa in 2020.
Simon Grigg of NZ music site Audio Culture said in a tribute to Morris shared on Facebook: “Larry Morris was one of the great figures of New Zealand music; talented both as a singer and a songwriter, absolutely unique and a man who defined his era. It’s with great sadness that we mark Larry’s passing last night”.
NZ Herald writer Steve Braunias recalls of Larry’s Rebels that they “enjoyed crazy success - sold-out tours, seven top 20 hits in two years - and recorded a classic album, A Study in Black, from midnight to dawn in May 1967. It sounds just as dangerous now, with its fuzz guitars and Motown drums, a funky and serious garage band given one shot to get it right. Morris was the star”.
In 1964, Larry Morris joined a band called The Young Ones who, with a name change to The Rebels, recorded their first single This Empty Place. It was the beginning of a group that would make a major impact on the New Zealand sixties scene. Their name was changed to Larry's Rebels, and their second single I Feel Good, went top five.
Their next major hit, Painter Man, charted top ten in May 1967, followed by Let's Think Of Something, a chart-topper in August, and Dream Time, which reached number four three months later. 1968 also provided two chart hits with Everybody's Girl reaching number six in July, and Do What You Gotta Do, peaking at the same position in September, followed by their last hit Mo'reen in early 1969.
After quitting the band, Morris went solo and made two albums in the 1970s, one before he was busted for LSD possession and one after he got out of prison. They form the bulk of a new Frenzy Music CD, Larry Morris: Anthology.
The prison term effectively ended his NZ musical career, which had seen him score big hits with the band during the second half of the 1960s and later as a solo performer with songs like Do What You Gotta Do and Everybody’s Girl.
After prison, Morris headed across Tasman and later to the US, where he lived for 10 years, returning to New Zealand in 1993. He continued to perform in New Zealand with his group, The Larry Morris Band.
Once called a “degenerate” by former NZ Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, he was later praised as a “true Kiwi music icon” by Prime Minister Helen Clark, who helped him re-enter New Zealand. Sources: NZ Herald, Audioculture