A Tribute to a Fallen Brother

On September 21, 2011 we lost a dear musical brother- John Larson, a member of the Ides of March since joining the ranks in 1969. Ask anyone — John didn’t have a mean or vindictive bone in his body. His sweet spirit always shone through like a star.

Not just a world-class trumpet player, John’s humor, quick wit, and creative ideas were a cog in the Ides’ machine that helped create our signature sound.

John could go on seemingly endlessly about simple things in life, like the liver dumpling soup he specialized in. No detail was too small for his discerning eye and palette. Most of all, he celebrated life every day.

John was a good sport about the hilarious intros we gave him on stage — he wanted me to make a list of them. I never quite got around to it… So, John, here it is now: “Say hello to John Larson, Nick Nolte’s evil twin”; “Welcome John Larson, the eye candy of the band..”; “On high trumpet — John Larson, a person of interest in four states” and, of course, “Here’s John Larson, the other white meat.”

John was the guy holding the high F sharp just past the cut off from a given song to prove he still had the chops (and he did!)

Playing the iconic riff from the Ides’ eternal hit, “Vehicle,” his piercing tone was the perfect complement to Chuck’s and Bob’s more mellow sound.

We experienced so much together as a band — we grew up touring North America behind a Number One record in the early 70’s; and turning from kids to responsible adults when we re-formed in 1990. John was always there for us, the court jester, lightening up the mood on days it was sorely needed.

John, you will be missed by so many. If you judge a person’s wealth by the people you can call your friend, John was the richest person I know. His voice has been stilled but it can never be replaced. Close your eyes tonight and you just may hear a distant trumpet.

— Jim