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Close to 200 attend memorial service for musician Larry Robinson

 

Last updated 3/23/2013 at Noon

Folk singer and acoustic picker Larry Robinson performing at Front Street Bar and Grill in Temecula.

TEMECULA - Close to 200 people attended a memorial service Friday evening, April 19, at the Temecula Community Center for Fallbrook resident Larry Robinson, who was a popular musician with a large following in both communities.

During the remembrance, Robinson's son, Evan talked about how his father "is no longer here physically, but spiritually, he is still here just the same." Evan went on to play a song he wrote entitled "Through your Eyes," which he said "made him feel better about everything that happened."

"Writing the song just came naturally," Evan said, adding that he believed his father sent him a message through songwriting.

Russ Kunkel and Bryan Garofalo talked about how Robinson wrote a song that he was to record with them in April. Due to Robinson's death, Kunkel and Garofalo said they intend to produce the song themselves and present it to Robinson's wife.

Jay Johnson performed at the event and talked about he played music with Robinson.

"Larry use to say, 'If you play that harmonica harder, maybe you'll get more tips," he said. "I'll miss that sense of humor."

(previous story)

Celebration of Life for Fallbrook's Larry Robinson held in Temecula

The family of Larry Robinson shared his memorial information with the Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News and Temecula Valley News. It is as follows:

Edward Lawrence “Larry” Robinson, age 64, passed away Saturday March 23, 2013, surrounded by loving family members. Larry was born in Santa Ana, California on May 31, 1948. He grew up in Long Beach and graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High. He enjoyed living all over the state of California but he called Fallbrook, California home for the past 27 years.

Larry brought joy to people of all ages through his music, smile, stories, gentility and humor. As a child, he spent much of his time at the beach and loved the ocean. As a teen, Larry enjoyed surfing as well as playing guitar; forming his first band during junior high school. These experiences and his love of the outdoors inspired him to start writing his own music. He wrote his first song in high school and eventually wrote and recorded several albums including music with The Things To Come; Blue Heaven; and The Dorados.

In recent years he recorded two solo albums “Old California Town” and “Cadillac and Trailer.” These two albums were inspired by Larry’s deep love for his home state of California. The essence of California was the essence of Larry; the mountains, the beaches, nature, and love for his family were among his greatest creative inspirations.

Larry was a man of many communities, playing local venues in Fallbrook, Temecula, and San Diego. He brought fellow musicians together through the hosting of open mic nights, songwriting venues and concerts. He taught music and also worked at several music stores throughout his career, sharing his love of the musical language with hundreds. He was a singer/songwriter, well-known for his resonant baritone voice and acoustic guitar prowess, with many loving fans near and far.

Larry and his wife, Pat, enjoyed visiting family and discovering new places to explore as they traveled the coasts of California. They also treasured their home life. Larry spent many quiet moments in his yard taking in the world around him. Larry wrote,

“I love to hear the local church bells ring, and the way so many summer birds sing, as I work in the garden of my little piece of paradise.”

Larry developed relationships with people that lasted a lifetime and he will be missed by many. His spirit lives through his music and will be continued through each one of us as we smile, share kindness and gentility and demonstrate love for one another. Pat is grateful for the tremendous expressions of love and support during this tragic time. She is comforted in knowing everyone is reflecting Larry’s loving spirit.

Larry is survived by his wife, Pat; daughters Hilary Robinson, Melody DeHaven, and Andralee Offidani; son Evan Robinson; son-in-law Todd DeHaven; and granddaughter Delaney DeHaven. Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Mary, and his brother, John.

A Celebration of Life memorial Service will be held at 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., on Friday, April 19, 2013, at the Temecula Community Recreation Center Outdoor Amphitheater, located at 30875 Rancho Vista Road, Temecula, CA 92592. All are welcome.

(previous story)

Beloved musician killed in robbery; hundreds mourn

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TB5YVWGz2w[/youtube]

There is a Pay Forward fund set up for people to donate to the Robinson family: Go to http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/q942/inmemoryoflarryrobinson?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fb_share_send&utm_campaign=dashboard_supporters&fb_ref=832779

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

Hundreds are mourning the death this week of well-known, beloved musician Larry Robinson who entertained regularly in both Fallbrook and Temecula. Robinson, 64, died Saturday, March 23 after sustaining fatal injuries during the course of a robbery the night before at Pete’s Music Store where he worked part-time for seven or eight years. The store is located in the 28700 block of Old Town Front Street in Temecula. A candlelight vigil set to live music, held the evening of March 24 outside the store, drew an estimated 500 attendees including multiple generations of musicians.

Tears were flowing and tissues were passed around as local musicians played Robinson’s favorite songs and friends and family shared memories of their favorite guitar man and how his music and personality touched people of all ages.

“It is a pretty cool testament of his life, to see everyone here,” said Evan Robinson, the son of the slain musician. “His physical presence isn’t here but his essence is here in his music. Peace and love – that was always his message.”

Many children who had taken music lessons at the store were present at the vigil. Several were too distraught to speak, but held their candles in the night, leaning on their parents for support.

“He never said anything negative about anyone, no matter how good or bad they played,” said 13-year-old Eliott Humes who had visited the store the evening of March 22, shortly before the robbery

Officers from the Temecula Police Dept. (Riverside Sheriff’s Dept.) responded to an emergency call shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22 at the music store with preliminary information that medical aid was needed under suspicious circumstances. A customer had found Robinson behind an amplifier in one of the aisles of the store, it was reported.

“Officers located [Robinson] who was bound, unconscious and suffering from severe injuries that were sustained during an apparent robbery and assault,” said Sgt. Tyson Voss. “The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition.” Robinson never regained consciousness following the attack. Investigators with the Southwest Station and Riverside County Sheriff Department’s Central Homicide Unit are handling the investigation into the case which has been labeled a robbery/murder.

A man of two communities, Robinson has been described as “a friend to all” and his music has reverberated for many years in numerous establishments. A Fallbrook resident , he was also a well known performer at area festivals and celebrations and a favorite of locals and tourists in restaurants and at events in Temecula’s Old Town.

Robinson had a baritone that complemented his storytelling. A singer/songwriter acknowledged for his acoustic guitar prowess, Fallbrook locals particularly enjoyed his “fishin’” tales, railroad songs, songs of California life and cover songs at the old Packing House restaurant (now Magee’s Tavern) and many other places around town.

“Larry was the real deal; no ego; live true, love true, play your heart out,” said longtime friend Wayne Cameron, who met and played with Robinson 25 years ago at the Packing House.

“In Fallbrook, Larry was part of the fabric of the community,” said friend and fellow musician Dave Blackburn, who knew Robinson since 1991. “My wife, Robin Adler, had her first professional gig with Larry.” Adler also played with Robinson at the Packing House.

“Larry was so positive to be around,” said Robert Sommers, a music history buff who knew Robinson for many years. “I admired him so much. I can’t understand how someone could wreak that kind of violence on someone so loving and tender.” Sommers attended the vigil and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with hundreds who felt the same.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “This pulled people from everywhere and musicians of all ages. His death has severely impacted both the Fallbrook and Temecula communities.”

“When there were 500 people at the candlelight vigil on Sunday night and it was pulled together in only 24 hours, that was huge,” said Blackburn. “That kind of outpouring of affection indicates what a loved man he was. He was so humble, but his reach was very far. He touched so many people through his music and spirit.

Murrieta resident John Trifunou was deeply affected by Robinson’s death, although he had only known the musician for three years.

“I am still waiting for someone to pinch me and tell me this is a terrible nightmare,” said Trifunou, who played his guitar and sang for the crowd at the vigil to show his respect.

Gary Holmes, who also worked at Pete’s Music, said, “We lost an amazing songwriter, singer, mentor, friend, husband, and father.” Holmes went on to say Robinson was not a salesman, but simply a music lover who wanted to match customers to the right guitar, “so they could express their art form in the right way.”

Brett Stokes, who had known Robinson for over 25 years and done the cover art design for two CDs and one cassette of the musician’s, was devastated at the news as well.

“He was an accommodating musician with a lot of charisma,” said Stokes, a Fallbrook resident. “It was very easy to listen to his music.”

Stokes pointed out the reason he and others were grieving so deeply over the loss of Robinson.

“The amount that you grieve a loss is how special that person was to you,” said Stokes.

Stokes said some of his fondest memories were of Robinson telling him stories and singing at his art shows.

Robinson’s widow, Pat, said he “starting playing the guitar in his early teens.”

“He was in a junior high school teen band, the Fabulous Barons, in Long Beach in 1964,” she said. “They played at weekend dances.” The band started out playing surf music but moved toward contemporary rock and roll and rhythm and blues sounds. In 1965, the Barons did a version of the Stones’ “Surprise Surprise” and a Gib Bilbeau tune, “Long Gone Lost World of Mine,” which featured Robinson playing the lead guitar for the first time.

Robinson and fellow Fabulous Barons band mates Russ Kunkel and Bryan Barofalo went on to form the group, Things To Come (TTC). TTC rose in popularity and opened for Three Dog Night, the Byrds, Cream, the Doors, and played at L.A.’s Whiskey-a-Go-Go. In 1968, David Crosby produced singles for the band which played a role in the “Summer of Love” rock scene and was on the bill at the 1968 Newport Pop Festival in Orange County, along with Steppenwolf, Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead.

After TTC broke up, Robinson became the equipment manager for Canned Heat and later formed a country rock band called Blue Heaven for a period of time.

Robinson ultimately wrote and recorded six albums, including three with The Dorados. His first solo album, “Old California Town,” was released in 2007.

The shock over Robinson’s violent death has left both communities reeling with disbelief.

“There was no need to carry <a burglary> this far, it’s just sickening,” said Holmes. “He was really a great friend to me. He always loved a good, funny story and he adored his wife.”

In Fallbrook, Sommers said, “Everywhere I go, people are just shell-shocked. I have never seen anything like it in my 34 years in this town. Maybe because it was so senseless; mostly because everybody that knew the guy loved him.”

“We can only hope that the perpetrator of this crime finds swift justice,” said Sommers.

“As far as this level of violence that has appeared in a bedroom community like Temecula, it’s too shocking; it’s hard to wrap your head around,” said Blackburn.

Larry Robinson is survived by his wife, Pat; son, Evan Robinson; daughters, Hilary Robinson, Melody DeHaven, and Andralee Offidani; and granddaughter Delaney DeHaven.

A memorial service is in the planning stages and details will be released soon.

A memorial fund has been established in remembrance of the musician. It can be found at http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/y942/larryrobinsonmemorialfund.

Michelle Mears-Gerst and Julie Reeder contributed to this story.

By Michelle Mears-Gerst

Special to the Village/Valley News

Hundreds gathered outside Pete’s Music & Guitar Shop on Front Street near Old Town Temecula Sunday evening to pay tribute via a candlelight vigil set to live music. The vigil was to pay respect to Edward “Larry” Robinson a loved and well-known Fallbrook musician who was murdered Friday evening during a robbery at the store where he worked.

A local pastor lead the crowd in prayer that included

Tears were flowing and tissues were passed around as local musicians played Larry’s favorite songs and friends and family shared memories of their favorite guitar man. The crowd that gathered for 64-year old Robinson transcended many generations and showed how much his music and personality touched the community.

“It is a pretty cool testament of his life, to see everyone here,” said Evan Robinson the son of the slain musician. “His physical presence isn’t here but his essence is here in his music.”

Robinson was found Friday night badly beaten, tied up and unconscious inside Pete’s Music & Guitar Shop in Old Town Temecula, and he died the next day from his injuries.

According to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, officers responded to the music store regarding medical aide with suspicious circumstances. It has been reported that Larry was found by a customer. He was transported to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries on Saturday.

Evan Robinson, Larry's son, spoke to the crowd reminding them that his dad's essence and spirit live on through his music. He said, "I'm overwhelmed by love and that's what my dad consisted of. These people are a testiment to his life, here celebrating, and that's what want to think of this, a celebration, ...he loved you guys its s a reciprocated love, its a great thing. His life was cut short but I tend to gravitate towards thinking about when he was here and the songs, and we can take that and play his records and share that with each other and his physical being is not here, but his essence and spirit is still alive when we play his music. There’s been an outpouring of “What can I do to help” and that’s huge, and to answer, it’s when you walk down the sidewalk and there’s a stranger, smile at them, just extend yourself to people in a compassionate way." (His entire message follows this story)

Lyrics by the band Bread say a guitar man can make you love, cry, bring you down and get you high and Robinson's music did all the above Sunday night.

“I am still waiting for someone to pinch me and tell me this is a terrible nightmare,” said John Trifunou who was a customer of the store and knew Robinson for the past three years.

Trifunou who resides in Murrieta played his guitar and sang for the crowd to show his respect.

“He never said anything negative about anyone no matter how good or bad they played,” said 13-year old Eliott Humes who was at the store Friday evening with his father shortly before the robbery. Humes came to the vigil with his family.

There were many children in the audience who took music lessons at the store who were too distraught to speak but held their candles in the night leaning on their parents for support.

“Larry was the real deal. No ego. Live true, love true, play your heart out,” said a longtime friend Wayne Cameron who met and played with Robinson 25 years ago in Fallbrook at the Packing House.

Robinson had a growling baritone that complimented his story telling. He was a singer/songwriter well known for his acoustic guitar picking. Fallbrook locals enjoyed his fishin' tales, railroad songs, songs of California life and cover songs at the old Packing House (now MaGee's Tavern) and many more places around town. He would play during festivals and celebrations. He was so enjoyed by locals and tourists in restaurants and events in Temecula's Old Town.

Robinson was once a member of Things to Come, which had played with the Byrds and other acts in 1967. The band was a minor player in the “Summer Of Love” rock scene, and was on the bill at the 1968 Newport Pop Festival in Orange County, along with Steppenwolf, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. The singer and songwriter had written and recorded six albums, including three with The Dorados. His first solo album, “Old California Town,” was released in 2007.

“We lost an amazing songwriter, singer, mentor, friend, husband, and father,” said fellow employee Gary Holmes. “There is evil in the world. We see it every day.”

Evan Robinson's entire message to the crowd - He said, "I'm overwhelmed by love and that's what my dad consisted of. People are a testament to his life, here celebrating, and that's what I want to look at this as, a celebration, ...he loved you guys--its a reciprocated love, its a great thing. His life was cut short but I tend to gravitate towards remembering when he was here and the beautiful thing about the music and his songs is that we can take that and play his records and share them with each other and his physical being is not here, but his essence and spirit is very much alive and there are lessons in those songs I’ve been hearing for 30 years. They mean something every time you listen to them, so I am thankful that I have a little hint of that, that he passed on to me (and skinny legs.)

On behalf of friends and family, and we’re all family here, he was a compassionate man and its little things. There’s been an outpouring of “What can I do to help” and that’s huge, and to answer, it’s when you walk down the sidewalk and there’s a stranger, smile at them, just extend yourself to people in a compassionate way. That’s what he did. He was as humanly unconditional I think as you can be, whether it was taking time with some kid to teach them where to put their fingers to make an e-chord, and that’s so cool and such a big deal that we were all fortunate to have been blessed with in our relationship with him, whether it’s a son, a wife, a friend. I look at you guys as family and the support here is tremendous and its really making an unfortunate situation bearable and so, It’s not necessarily donations, it’s play the records man, get the songs heard, get the message that he documented out. It’s something that will last. Anyway, from the bottom of my heart, peace and love, that was the message of Larry Robinson as well. Thank you for being here."

Large crowd shares music, stories and warm memories of musician Larry Robinson, who perished after attack during robbery

Hundreds of people crowded the parking lot in front of Pete's Music tonight to share music, stories and warm memories for musician Larry Robinson, who passed away yesterday morning from injuries inflicted during a robbery. Story and photos to follow.

Large crowd expected at vigil in Temecula for slain Fallbrook musician Larry Robinson

Julie Reeder

Staff

FALLBROOK/TEMECULA - Scores of people are expected to pack a candlelight vigil tonight for Larry Robinson, a Fallbrook musician who was slain during a robbery at the Temecula guitar shop where he worked, friends and colleagues said.

Robinson, 64, was found Friday night, March 22, badly beaten, tied up and unconscious inside Pete's Music & Guitar Shop in Old Town Temecula, and he died the next day from his injuries. Riverside County Sheriff's detectives were investigating it as a murder-robbery and have made no arrests at this time.

Robinson's coworker praised him as a great guitarist and a good listener.

"Larry, as a guitar player, laid down a groove that you could land a 747 on,'' said Paul Beach in an interview with City News Service. "He was that way as a human being.''

A native of Long Beach, Robinson was an affable person who could easily ''make friends with anybody,'' said Gary Holmes, another friend.

As a friend of 30 years, Beach said he was distraught. "I can't tell you how much I miss him.'

Beach told CNS that he and Robinson had performed Wednesday night at Valley Fort Steakhouse near their homes in Fallbrook. Beach lived about a half-mile away from Robinson, and their wives were close, he said.

Robinson had been performing for decades, and was a member of Things to Come, which had played with the Byrds and other acts in 1967. The band was a minor player in the "Summer Of Love'' rock scene, and was on the bill at the

1968 Newport Pop Festival in Orange County, along with Steppenwolf, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.

The singer and songwriter had written and recorded six albums, including three with The Dorados. His first solo album, "Old California Town,'' was released in 2007.

The vigil is set for 8 p.m. at Pete's Music & Guitar Shop, where Robinson worked as a part-time employee for seven or eight years, store owner Pete Surowski said. The store is at 28780 Old Town Front St. in Temecula.

Surowski said he was unable to reach Robinson by phone at closing time.

A customer found Robinson behind an amplifier in one of the aisles, Surowski said.

Robinson was a not a salesman but simply a music lover who wanted to match customers to the right guitar "so you can express your art form in the right way,'' Holmes said.

Robinson wasn't much of a chatterbox, but he was definitely a good listener, his co-worker said.

"He was really a great friend to me. He always loved a good funny story and he adored his wife,'' Holmes said of Robinson. "There was no need to carry things this far. It's just sickening.''

(previous story)

UPDATE: A vigil is planned for 8 pm tomorrow, Sunday, March 24, at Pete's Music in the 28000 block of Old Town Front Street, Temecula, CA.

FALLBROOK - TEMECULA - Friends and family are mourning the loss of one of Fallbrook’s most beloved and long-time popular performers, Larry Robinson. Robinson was the victim of an assault and robbery at Pete’s Music on Old Town Front Street in Temecula, last night, Friday, March 22, 2013. Robinson worked at Pete's music.

According to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, officers responded to the music store regarding a medical aide with suspicious circumstances. It has been reported that Larry was found by a customer. Upon arrival, officers located Robinson, who was bound, unconscious and suffering from severe injuries that were sustained during an apparent robbery and assault. He was transported to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Investigators from the Southwest Station and Riverside County Sheriff Department’s Central Homicide Unit responded and assumed the investigation throughout the night and into the next morning. The suspect is at large. A Gibson guitar in a case, and other items, had been taken from the business, according to KABC7.

This morning, Saturday, Edward Lawrence “Larry” Robinson, age 64, succumbed to his injuries.

Fallbrook resident Robert Sommers said of Larry in his blog, "If he was murdered it had to be somebody who had never met the man. The guy I knew never had an enemy. Had to be some random predator who couldn't see beyond his own selfish tunnel; who dropped into a foreign and gentle universe and turned the lights off in a most gruesome way without realizing the precious nature of the beautiful man and unwitting victim."

Robinson's growling baritone complimented his masterful story telling. He was a singer/songwriter who was well known for his acoustic guitar picking. Fallbrook locals would enjoy his fishin' tales, railroad songs, songs of California life and cover songs at the old Packing House (now MaGee's Tavern), the Valley Fort, the Fallbrook Library during the Americana Music Series, Cafe des Artists, and many more places around town. He would play during festivals and celebrations. He was also enjoyed by locals and tourists in restaurants and events in Temecula's Old Town.

California, Robinson’s home state, was the subject that inspires much of his music. In an interview for Village and Valley News in 2008, Larry said, while talking about his latest album at the time, “Old California Town,” “You know the name the Golden State? I love it. I think it’s the light. It’s also the ocean, the mountains, the desert, the farmlands. We have everything. Small towns, big cities – there’s always something else to see in Southern California,” he said. Larry recorded songs for seven CDs, including three with The Dorados.

Robinson’s roots run deep in the region. He was born in Long Beach in 1948 and continued to live in Fallbrook, California, until he was brutally taken.

In the ’60s, Robinson visited numerous countries on several continents when he was working as a roadie for the rock band Canned Heat.

He also spent a lot of time in other states when he was working as a truck driver in his early adulthood.

“Every time I got back to California I remembered how much I love it,” he said.

This is an active ongoing investigation. Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Investigator Baeza at the Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777 or Investigator Williams at the Southwest Sheriff's Station at 951-696-3000.

Previous stories about Larry Robinson

http://myvalleynews.com/admin/admin_story.php?id=70162

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-utvMB7xEY[/youtube]

Evans Robinson Sings a song from his band War Stories "What Does God See" with his dad, Larry Robinson.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9ojUub7Gc0&feature=endscreen&NR=1[/youtube]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oERqNdcUXZg

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0P6vkyAMnQ[/youtube]

This Youtube video was uploaded on November 8, 2008 and was a War Stories encore acoustic performance at Barnes & Noble, Temecula. Lead Singer, Evan Robinson, performs with his father, Larry Robinson.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB1yWzdyeEo[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3-88bfGcrHA[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtrdAw-QCiw[/youtube]

TEMECULA - A man who was working at Pete's Music and Guitar Shop in Temecula was severely beaten during a robbery and died early today, sheriff's deputies said.

Larry Robinson

The victim's name was not immediately released.

The owner of the shop called deputies after being unable to contact the worker by phone, said Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Myling Bordeau. Sheriff's deputies were dispatched at 7:30 p.m. Friday to the 28000 block of Old Town Front Street.

Deputies found the man inside with unspecified traumatic injuries. and he was taken to an area hospital. He died today from his injuries, Bordeau said.

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