Thursday, January 18, 2024

Paul Lacques (1954-2024)

Paul Lacques, 8-25-19
Music has gotten me through some tough times, and it has also helped me celebrate the good times. Really, whatever is happening in my life, music plays an important part, and has done since I was very young. I am always looking for that magic at concerts, when things reach a glorious level and the band and the audience are completely connected, not only to each other, but to something both eternal and of the moment. It is a great shared experience that is quickly gone, and is somehow all the more beautiful for not lasting that long. Some bands are more capable than others of providing those moments. The Grateful Dead, when they were on, could do it, no question. And more recently, a band that I have turned to again and again for those moments is I See Hawks In L.A., one of the best bands out there, a band known for its excellent harmonies.

When I got home from work last night, I read the terrible news that Paul Lacques, the band’s guitarist, had died. Cancer. I hadn’t even known he was sick. He certainly hadn’t allowed the disease to keep him from playing. Just last month, I saw him a couple of times, first accompanying Victoria Jacobs at the Mayan Bar & Grill (where I See Hawks In L.A. had played in October) and then playing with Rob Waller and Carla Olson at McCabe’s. His playing and his energy at those gigs were as stellar as always. I See Hawks In L.A. had been scheduled to play a gig in Long Beach next Saturday. It was to be the band’s first show of 2024, but just a few days ago they announced that they wouldn’t be able to make it. Now I suppose we know why. While trying to digest the news of his passing, I started listening to I See Hawks In L.A. songs. So many great songs to choose from, and of course most of them were co-written by Paul Lacques. One that I kept returning to was “Good And Foolish Times.” That’s really the spirit of the music, and it helped ease my sorrow a bit, bringing to mind some of the great and fun nights of music. “Didn’t we have some good times/Some good and foolish times/Didn’t we have some good and foolish times/Didn’t we take some long rides/Some long and winding rides/Didn’t we take some long and winding rides.” Indeed. Those times will be remembered, and Paul Lacques will be greatly missed.

9-30-23 at Autry Museum


  1. Like you, music has always played an important part of my life to get through some tough as well as good times. Paul was an inspiration to me and I admit he was an idol and a music god. I started to follow his music history starting with Rotondi. Rotondi was such a fun, different kind of band that didn't take life so seriously, like it was in the 80s. It wasn't Polka that changed my life, but it was Paul's diverse songwriting and talent that blew me away. Songs like Play On, Brand New Mind and Ride My Soul had a reoccurring theme that life was precious and should be enjoyed. Same with I See Hawks In LA's song Good And Foolish Times. When I think of Paul, I think of Life being celebrated through the gift of music. I last saw him play at the Mayan with his wife just a month ago. I do hope there is a memorial get-together by all the musicians and friends to pay their proper repects for his body of work. He was a true California treasure!

    1. Isn't it wonderful how music can have such a strong and positive impact on our lives? I also hope there is a memorial. My girlfriend keeps asking about one. She saw I See Hawks In L.A. with me several times and also Double Naught Spy Car, and she went to that show at the Mayan. His music and his playing touched a lot of people, and it did so upon the first time hearing him. I'm guessing a lot of folks would go to the memorial.