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LonPaul Memories

Our dear friend LonPaul Ellrich passed away early morning Wednesday May 7th. We are hoping that some of his friends can share memories and pictures that we can archive and save for his son Rupert. Thank you

Website: http://musicalfamilytree.ning.com/profile/LonPaul
Members: 162
Latest Activity: Dec 18, 2013

Memorial Service Schedule and Music Player

There is a trust set up for LonPaul's son Rupert. You can send funds to it using the following information. Thank you!
Rupert K Briggs Ellrich Scholarship Fund
c/o Key Bank
10 W Market Street, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46204

A Memorial and Benefit Concert will be held June 15th, a Sunday, at 6pm at Radio Radio in Fountain Square, Indy. Please visit the event for more information and to buy advance tickets.

LonPaul Memorial and Rupert Benefit Concert


We have created a special music player to showcase LonPaul's work as a musician. This is only a small fraction of the music he with some of his various bands and projects and we would welcome other's sending us tracks to include- just email MP3s to musicalfam@gmail.com
LonPaul Music Player

LonPaul Photo Gallery

Discussion Forum

Favorite LonPaul stories- please post on main group page 2 Replies

I have closed this discussion since everyone, including myself, are leaving their memories on the main page for this group, which works better I think. thanks

Started by Jeb Banner. Last reply by otis May 7, 2008.

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Comment by Michael Maxwell on December 6, 2011 at 8:33pm

I was in Art School at John Herron late 80's and was a member of an industrial band project created by LonPaul and Jim Stouffer along with Kevin McCullough. "The Hazy Cognents" so we were called. I entered the basement studio for the first practice and there he was constructing a drum kit. Made from different sized metal coffee cans up to large barrels. I was warming up on the bass among a web of chords , electronic devices and such. He came to me and cocked his head and said, "This needs something Max!" and he ran out the door. When he returned he had 4 kitchen forks. He bent the prongs of the forks, mounted them to my bass strings and proceeded to instruct me on how to use the fork handles in a  percussive beat with my fingers. Then we all began to record. I miss you LonPaul and I will never forget, I wish I had those recording to share with all the lives you touched.....You Rhythm Wizard!

Comment by Chris Kupersmith on May 7, 2011 at 11:09pm
love you buddy
Comment by Kevin D. McCollough on October 3, 2009 at 11:34am
I've no idea what led me to do an internet search a few days ago for LonPaul Ellrich. I hadn't thought about him in a while; nothing in particular happened in the first couple hours of my day that brought him to mind. Maybe I saw him again in some forgotten dream (probably one of those "It's the start of the college semester, and I never received a schedule" dreams or a "I live in a house where our living spaces intersect/overlap in bizarre ways" dream...I have each pretty often).
Anyhoo, the first result that came up in the search was the LonPaul Memorial/Rupert Benefit Concert here at Musical Family, and I...well, anyone likely to be reading this has a fairly good idea how I felt. There's an old proverb, "Shared sorrow is half-sorrow; shared joy is double joy". I'd like to share how I joyfully made LonPaul's acquaintance.
There was a party at "the lion house" (1832 N. Talbott), and I went down to the basement (where I would jam with LonPaul a year or two later). Karen, his girlfriend at the time, asked if anyone had a light, and I offered her mine.
I had a theory that no one ever really intentionally stole lighters. I would scratch designs into mine, along with little messages like, "This is Kevin D. McCollough's lighter. What the f**k are YOU doing with it?" It worked, oftentimes; my lighters had a way of finding their way back into my apartment, my backpack, etc. on a right regular basis.
"Oh!", Karen gleefully exclaimed, "You collect Kevin McClow lighters too?" (Alright, so much for my theory.)
"Um, yeah, well...no, not really. It's pronounced muh-kuh-luh, by the way."
"Oh, cool, I'll remember that. My boyfriend collects your lighters; he has a whole dresser drawer full. LonPaul's...mmm...well, he's around here somewhere; you'll get a chance to meet him sometime tonight."
"Cool beans. Lookin' forward to it." I went back down to the basement some time later, and LonPaul was stretched out on the floor, using Karen as an armrest/backrest.
"That's him!", Karen said, "That's Kevin muh-kuh-luh!" (I should mention at this point that I couldn't recall ever having seen LonPaul before that; he was having mutual friends steal my lighters for him).
"Oh", he said through that slight smile where his teeth just barely touched his lower lip, that slight squint and cocked head I'm sure everybody here is familiar with, "He's a large man." Then, a little quieter, "You didn't mention that." Then, in a barely-audible exhaled sigh, "You'd think you would've mentioned that..." He extended his hand and said, "Pleased to meet you. I enjoy your work."
"Yeah, so I hear, a whole dresser drawer full", I said, giving his hand an extra little squeeze corresponding with the words "whole", "dresser", and "drawer".
"Well, yeah, but your paintings, drawings, stuff, too." He knew full well he wasn't in any kind of trouble.
Over the following few years, I'd cherish LonPaul as a formidable creative force, someone who could be counted on to hold up his end of any conversation (the stranger and/or more intellectually challenging, the better), and one of those rare people who never seemed to grow weary of listening to other artists talk about their work...even self-important, mind-numbingly verbose artists like me.
Rupert, whoever is on the right side, to whatever degree, of the Nature vs. Nurture debate, I'm sure you'll do well in this world.
Comment by Greg Backus on February 16, 2009 at 1:51am
I've lost a friend. A dear inspiration, an amazing person who was unlike any other person in the world and so very human, so beautifully and painfully human. It happened months ago and today - now - the emptiness has set in. I'll never be able to talk to him again. That's it. He was a challenge and a blessing - I prized his opinions and insights - and when the stars were right, there was no-one in this world that was more fun to be around, to talk to to, to listen to records with, to steal tobacco from the drug store with, to watch fricking TV with. Totally singular. I don't even know how to approach this grief. We hated eachother and loved eachother and it was all right there. I was overwhelmed by him and empowered by him, And that's it. He was more driven by his ability and his empathy, his profundity and inanity, than anyone I've ever met - he was too much for himself to contain.

"He will blind the masses with his majesty/
He will leave them deaf and dumb/
in total ecstasy"

We stood in Michelle's kitchen and he looked at me and said "Don't you want to change your life?", and the tone of his voice was such that there was no argument. Of course I did - we connected on that level. He was right - so I moved to chicago.

Will Oldham came on the tape player in his van - a tape I put in. It was cold in Chicago. He looked at me and said, "What do you like about this? Really. What is there to like about this?". He was hungry (so was I) and there was always a better chance of the frontal assault whan that was the case. I wasn't about to defend Will Oldham to him.
Fortunately, I had learned by that time to deflect his provocations somewhat.

We stayed up all night at Motel Motel's listening to the Tom Waits album with the hobo orchestra and realized that they were the real talent.

We went to Memphis and the van broke down. We got to stay in it while it was being towed, riding backwards through Memphis at night.

We played pop music together. He wrote huge songs and had no patience for bullshit. He was utterly contradictory. I could write a huge list of oppositions that he exemplifies to me. He was totally uptight, AND totally relaxed. He was totally genuine AND totally artificial. Total pragmatist and dedicated solipsist...and so on...

I knew him really well. He was good at keeping people at arms length when he wanted to, but once he relaxed he was all right there, direct, present, engaged, full-to-bursting.
I am going to miss him so much.

I've never met anyone so capable of being interested, in life, in people, in art, in details, in absurdity, in relevence. The world feels like it is shrinking to accomodate his absensce. He was rigorous and chaotic - I loved him dearly from the moment I met him - which was (of course) preceeded by some period of adoration from afar. I just can't believe that he's gone now. Even though we'd lost touch, I never felt that bridges has been burned. They hadn't been. The infrequent contacts we had were like picking up from where we left off.

I admired him then and admire him now. He had a profound impact on me without ever trying to. I miss him now more than I can express.
Comment by DougHochstedler on July 11, 2008 at 12:40pm
I'm very late in discovering this very sad news. I have many photos of LP and the Tin Lounge crew from the Talbot Street days, which I'll be happy to share if someone wants to help me scan them. I don't have a scanner and wouldn't know how to use one if I did....
Comment by Chris Kupersmith on May 30, 2008 at 7:59pm
I miss our friend so much. I keep wishing he'd strut around the corner, big old headphones on, and up into my lawn.
Comment by Lynn Burnworth on May 21, 2008 at 10:12pm
I'm saddened to see this group come to an end. It was comforting to be able to read about LP and somehow seem more connected to him.I'm thankful to everyone that we'll be able to share these pages with Rupert.I'd like to share one of my fondest memories of LP and Rupert Together.After bringing Rupert home from a long weekend with Nana . LP would be waiting on the porch when we pulled in the driveway he would bounce down the steps Rupert would be clapping his hands and kicking his feet and shouting for Daddy the smiles on their faces is unforgettable.Rupert will always know his dad's love for him. LP your missed greatly.
Comment by Kathie Stewart-Smith on May 19, 2008 at 7:04pm
Dear Friends,
Since it looks like we're about ready to wrap this group up, I'll write the thank you I've been putting off since last Wednesday. The outpouring of love I have felt on this site was shared, I'm sure, by all who attended the service on 5/14. I spoke to only a small fraction of those who were there, and I probably didn't recognize most of the people I talked to. I don't know how it happened, but we've all gotten older since Tin Lounge and Sardina, and you all look different with trimmed hair and suit coats. So, if I called you the wrong name or didn't seem to know who you were, please forgive me - I most certainly felt the love!
I thought Libby put together a lovely service, and I would like to especially thank Paul Mahern for his spiritual message and invocation of LonPaul's spirit. Also Michelle Marchesseault, Ben Shine, Vess von Ruhtenberg, Jorma Whittaker, and Richard Upton for the strength and caring they showed when they shared with us their feelings for, and memories of, LonPaul. And the musical number presented by Chris Kupersmith, with harmonies from Kenny Childers & Tina Barbieri, was especially moving.
I hope you all got a chance to look at the photos Libby and I gathered together so you could see that LP's remarkable countenance can be seen again in the face of Rupert. And the flowers, whether professionally arranged in a shop or lovingly picked from the garden, were all very much appreciated. Although my mother and Steven and I went right home with Rupert, it sounded as though the later gathering was one that LP would have enjoyed.
So, to all of you who were able to post memories and photos on Jeb's website, and to all of you who could actually be with us in Indianapolis - Thank You! And thanks also for the contributions you have made to Rupert's well-being. Whether monetary or spiritual, they all add to the treasured legacy of LonPaul - grandson, son, musician, friend, and father. You can't begin to understand how much I miss him, but with the support of your talented and loving community, I know we'll all carry on. My Love to all of you!
Kathie
Comment by Leslie Einhorn on May 19, 2008 at 2:09pm
Oh LonPaul...
I have so much to say- and yet I'm finding it nearly impossible to grab the memories and turn them into words. LonPaul was my sweet, wacky, intense, complicated, genius boyfriend-twenty years ago. He got lodged into my heart in the 'so emotional' eighties, and will live there forever. My favorite LonPaul memory was a night we spent at my parents house- when they were off celebrating their anniversary. We talked and laughed and kissed and contemplated the patterns in the floor for hours. That night I didn't know where I ended and he began- all I knew was that I wanted more and more LonPaul. We made an impeccable sign for my parents that accidentally read: "Happy Anniversarary". LonPaul had the idea that we could try to make the sign look childlike- as if the misspelling was intentional. So we did a mosaic that in involved Circus-Fun Cereal- gluing pastel colored marshmallows all over the sign. I'm sure my parents were horrified to find it hanging on the door in the morning.
I think this was also the night that LonPaul stared at a paintng hanging above the fireplace for a good twenty minutes before saying "It's not so much a presence of legs, as it is an absence of grass". If you know the painting- it makes perfect sense.
LonPaul slipped out as the sun was coming up. I will always remember him standing on the steps, his halo of messy, red curls lit by the rising sun- how wrong it felt in that moment to be separated from my other half.

LonPaul was the first true artist that I knew. We were all wildly insecure back then- skulking around, hiding behind bangs and black eye-liner- trying to decide who we really were. LonPaul was courageously, insanely himself. I still seek out people like him.
The last time I saw LonPaul was strange. I was in town briefly with my girlfriend- and really wanted her to meet him. We sat outside the coffee shop were he was working, while he ashed into his hand, tapped his foot manically, and said things in that LonPaul way that left me wondering if he was making fun of me- or celebrating me. There was no sarcasm- though- when he spoke of Rupert. He was overflowing with love and pride. Two years later I had my own little peach of pride. I'm so sad that I never got to see LonPaul with Rupert, and that Georgia Rose will never get a chance to meet her mom's wonderfully wacky first boyfriend. I will have plenty of stories for her though- when she's old enough to hear them.

I'm finding myself again needing to get more and more of LonPaul. I'm so grateful for all of these stories and pictures. Thank you to all who posted...
Comment by indyfitz on May 19, 2008 at 12:22pm
you all are incredibly awesome. i think anyone could appreciate getting his or her father's recorded and documented lifetime of music creation and friendship making. keep the faith little rupert..
 

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