April 12, 2007

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Saying goodbye to Robin
Musicians hold tribute former Grinning Lizards member
By Bill Copeland news@hippopress.com

Robin Lovett left behind a world of people who loved him as much as a person as they admired him as a musician.

Musicians who played with and befriended him since the 1970s will perform a musical tribute in his memory. The guitarist/singer who performed regularly in Manchester died in an automobile accident in Florida last month. He will be remembered in a benefit at Whippersnappers in Londonderry, Sunday, April 15, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“There’s going to be a lot of people. I’m probably not going to know everybody’s who’s coming in to play, but I’m going to try to get everybody up to play that can,” said Paul Costley, a longtime friend of Lovett’s who also books Whippersnappers. “Bob Pratt, Dave Zangry that played with him in the BTC Jam Band, they’re going to be in there.”

Dogfather, Steve Catudal, Dave Kersting, Josh Logan, Phil & The Blanks are also among the performers expected. “I’m just getting the list together still,” Costley said.

Lovett played with Pratt and Zangry in the Boston Trading Company Jam Band, a big event every Tuesday night in Manchester. He was also in the Grinning Lizards with Costly, Zangry and bass player Paul Luff. 

“He was a very easy going guy to work with,” Costley said. “He was loved by everybody. He was a southern gentlemen. He had a big history with the Lovett Brothers, which was way back in the early days.”

Re-married a few years ago, Lovett moved back to Glen Saint Mary, Florida to be closer to his family. Aside from musical accomplishments, Lovett was a war hero. Lovett joined the Marines in 1966, belonging to Company B, 2nd Force Recon Battalion.

“He was a Purple Heart winner from the Vietnam war, which a lot of people didn’t know,” Costley said. “He wasn’t one to brag. He won the New Hampshire Hero Award in 1991 for taking his surf board into the November-chilled Merrimack River, and he rescued a struggling escapee from the YDC.”

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Lovett along with his brothers Marvin and Terry were fixtures in the New Hampshire music scene.

“My fondest memory was when Lisa and I went to see him do a solo gig at Kilarney’s down in Nashua. He’s just strumming and singing songs. But Lisa hollers out, ‘Hey Robin, impress us!’ He just launched into some of the most unbelievable acoustic playing I can honestly remember,” said Gardner Berry of Mama Kicks.

Berry credits Lovett for helping him and Lisa Guyer start Mama Kicks.

“He was instrumental in getting us to start out playing as a duo when we were still in The Wicked Big Band,” Berry said. “He said ‘You guys could do cruise ships. You could do resorts. You could do whatever you wanted to. You guys would be so good as a duo, you really should do it.”

Tribute to a friend
What: Tribute to musician Robin Lovett
When: Sunday, April 15, 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: Whippersnappers, 44B Nashua Road, Londonderry.
For more information: Call Whippersnappers at 434-2660.