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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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lloyd landa memorial

The memorial for Lloyd this past weekend wasn't at all what I expected. I had anticipated sadness, regret, and a sombre crowd. Instead, the event focussed on celebrating Lloyd's life. I only knew a handful people in the crowded room, but I felt as if I was among friends...we were bonded through our friendship with Lloyd, and the fact that he had touched each of our lives. I got to know Lloyd better that evening through the stories and songs of his other friends.

Allison posted a report of the evening to the FKO mailing list, and she gave me permission to post it in today's Blatherings:

Memorial for Lloyd Landa at The Tranzac Club

by Allison Durno

Debbie, Jodi and I attended the memorial for Lloyd on Saturday at the Tranzac Club in Toronto and performed a couple of songs at Karen's request. It was a wonderful evening, emotional and comforting at the same time. As someone who knew Lloyd through the filk community, it was terrific to see how he was loved and admired by the folk musicians of Toronto as well.

The Tranzac Club is a really nice spot, down at the corner of Bloor and Brunswick, near the University of Toronto. The memorial was in a comfortable room, with tables and chairs scattered around, a bar in the back, large sketched-glass windows in the front strung with little clear lights. By the time the memorial started around nine the place was packed with friends and family and fellow musicians who had known Lloyd. Besides UT, Eric Layman and Freddy Brown were there from the filk community (and Karen, of course). Scattered on the tables were two moving written memorials to Lloyd- a two-page spread from the latest issue of the U.S.S. Hudson Bay newsletter, Voyager, written by Eric and Karen, and a very moving memorial by folk singer/songwriter Norm Hacking (who ran the Tranzac tribute) originally published in "Taxi News". I've saved a copy of each which I hope to have at Sally's place next Saturday (if I get my report cards done!).

There were more than a dozen performers on the evening's schedule and the music ranged from old Van Morrison and Beatle tunes to an assortment of original tunes, many of which the performers said had been encouraged by Lloyd, inspired by Lloyd or had come about through collaboration with Lloyd. The three musicians from the filk community performed back-to-back. Eric sang a song about problems with his bike and recited a poem in honour of Lloyd. Freddy sang his song in honour of Lloyd that he first debuted at Sally's filk last summer and a song about his beat-up Chevy. Before UT performed, Karen gave a very touching introduction, explaining what filk was to the crowd and how when she and Lloyd first discovered the filk community they knew they were home, it became their passion. We performed "The Lady" and "TechnoNerdboy", as Karen had said they were two of Lloyd's favorite UT songs.

Of the folk musicians, I only recognized Bob Schneider, best known in Canada for his children's music, but there were many fantastic musicians, guitarists and keyboard players that had clearly been performing with each other and with Lloyd here in Toronto for many years. There were so many songs where I found myself saying, "Oh, wow, wish I could take that song to the filk community, they'd love it.". The three that come most readily to mind were songs by Norm Hacking called "Cats Everywhere" and "A Songwriter's Song" and another song sung that was written for another friend lost recently and dedicated to Lloyd last night called "The Miracle of You".

The musical highlight of the evening was hearing Karen perform late in the tribute. She got up with her guitar and performed Lloyd's "I Am Stardust" and a song she said has always been her favorite song and has even more meaning to her now called "The Dance". The song is about wondering if you would choose to change your life if you knew how events would play out. The answer within the song is no, for in doing so you might avoid life's pain, but you'd also miss the dance. Beautiful song, so moving to hear Karen sing it. After singing her two songs, Karen also played the CD version of "Pioneers Of Mars", explaining the history behind the song.

Late in the evening, Norm Hacking also unveiled a photo of Lloyd on the wall of the room as the first inductee into the Tranzac Club Spirit of Song Hall of Fame. A basket was also passed around twice during the evening to raise money to put together a CD of Lloyd's instrumental music. If anyone else would like to contribute to this worthwhile project, I'd strongly encourage you to contact Karen and donate what you can.

UT had to leave the club around 12:30 am and at that time the tribute was still going strong, with 4-5 musicians still lined up to perform. It was a great night of music, it was wonderful to see the love and affection Lloyd had inspired in so many people and we were very glad to have had a chance to be part of the evening.

- Allison

Today's Blatherpic:
Karen Linsley and Lloyd Landa, at Toronto Trek earlier this year. This was the last time I saw Lloyd.

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