Randy 'Rare' Resnick

tapping pioneer

Randy Resnick has played guitar with many blues greats, such as Don 'Sugarcane' Harris and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

Paul Lagos, 1940-2009

Original Post from 2009

The original pages are here: Archive of Remember Paul Lagos

On the night of our 30th wedding anniversary I learned of the death of Paul Lagos, a man who had a tremendous influence on me musically since our first meeting in the early 70's. Paul and I were born on the same date, but different years.

Here is the Posterous Archive

Paul at Rouen, France, 1995

Paul at Rouen, France, 1995

Paul played with Kaleidoscope and recorded with Leo Kotke, did a lot of recording in L.A., played in the Johnny Otis Revue and then went on tour with John Mayall, John Klemmer, did a bunch of gigs in Los Angeles with jazz and blues players. We toured together in the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1972.

Yes it was a long time ago, when you got on stage with instruments; drums, guitars and a sound system and made music, sounds you heard in your imagination and then translated through your limbs to skins and guts.

Paul taught me about Miles and Coltrane and Joseph Schillinger, about Joe Henderson and Thelonius Monk. We were kids, Victor Conte and I, and we lived in his basement with his flea-infested Great Dane, "Gretta", and we were privileged to meet the likes of the brilliant saxophonist Richard Aplanaugh and Don 'Sugarcane' Harris - who, with Dewey Terry, wrote "I'm Leaving it All Up to You", one of the most played songs on the radio for years. Paul was a GIANT, I'll miss him.

The last time I saw Paul was on a tour for my own CD in about 1995 in France and Switzerland. Ironically, Paul and I played in Geneva in 1974 with a band called the Curtis Brothers. That gig was the inspiration for my song "Woman In White" which was linked to by a nurses' site but in fact the woman in white wasn't a nurse but a powder. Oh, the irony of the Internetz...

Paul, I didn't get to tell you that I loved you man, and now I can't even find out how to contact the woman you lived with to tell her how much your life and advice meant to me. Maybe someone will read it here.

We shared a short period of music nearly 40 years ago, I feel "we hardly knew ye". Thanks for Trane, Miles, Bird, Monk and yes, the blues I feel tonight in learning of your passing.

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From Nick Lagos

Randy,

Although we have never met, I have some knowledge of you from my brother Paul.  First let me say that he had a great affection for you and your brother Art. I met Art at Paul’s house inClearwater back in 1979 and very much enjoyed hanging out with him. One of my favorite recordings is Jungleopolis – it really shows off both your brother and my brother communicating and laying it down.  Another couple of favorites are “My Soul’s On Fire” and the “Eleanor Rigby” both of which you are a part of.

Paul once told me a story about Little Richard – that Little Richard would strut around backstage and yell out at the band members:

“I may be a sissy – but I’m a pretty sissy!

 I don’t know where you guys are located but hope that perhaps one or both of you can come up to Minneapolis for the November 15 services and celebration. I understand that there is going to be a jam session at the scene and we are going to make sure to have so great food happening too. 

Great Food – that was something that was always a part of our times together – and big messes from cooking the food. If I had to name my one most favorite dish that Paul prepared – it would be his spaghetti sauce. It was better than anyone else’s always.  And the food adventures that we had together – eating the worst (best) at all the best places – Johnny and Hanges, Pinks, Under the Umbrella, hot links in Watts or the Mexican place (The Michlacan? – something like that) at the bottom of the hill near his house inNE LA., and an infinite number of BR (Baskin Robbins) attacks. Our family all loved black beans and rice but Paul’s was the best and always we made it with the authentic ingredients. We also had some excellent BBQs – and home-made onion rings, homemade pizza, whatever we ate – it was always Soulfood – just like the tune from Choice Cuts – Pure Food & Drug Act!

I have the Schillinger System at my house that I got from my brother but that is just a small token of the musical influence that my brother Paul was on me. My first experience with hearing my brother play and be around musicians was in 1970 when my Dad and sister and myself went in the New York City to meet Paul and see him play with the John Mayal band at the Fillmore East.  We met him at the Americana and drove down to the Fillmore where we proceeded to go backstage and met Larry Taylor and Harvey Mandel and Sugacane Harris and John Mayal (I had no idea who anyof them were at the time). They were the lead act on a bill that included J Geils, and Boz Scaggs.

A few years later, my brother was visiting Ridgewood (our home town in New Jersey) and he and I went out to a record store – we were talking music and I told him that I was an Allman Brothers fan and Yes, and Santana, and others – while at the store, we walked over to the jazz section and he pulled out “Impressions” by Coltrane and said buy this and go home and listen to it and call me. I played the album and India comes on with the distinctive bass line from the Village Vanguard set which I immediately dug but it was hard for me ti identify with the overall tune and I could not get Impressions at all. Looking back on it – he gave me a tough one to start out with – he could have started out with Coltrane and Johnny Hartman or the Duke or something like Afro Blue or Africa – so it took me a while to catch up with Impressions but once I got there – I could not get enough of it.

I did not realize this until later in life but I was primed to be a jazz fan – our family was very musically oriented; bot of our parents were heavily into music and we all got a heavy dose of show tunes and swing era music through out our lives in and out of the house. My dad was particularly into jazz but in a more traditional sense, he did not go in for the bebop, mainstream, and straight ahead sound that became a big part of our lives.

In the late 70s Paul moved down toTampa with us and stayed there for several years. He also had Moo Moo (his daughter Michelle). We really started going through the jazz then – Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, The Jazztet, Johnny Griffin, Wayne Shorter, Clifford Brown, Miles, Woody Shaw, Philly Joe (of course), and many many others – a few that need special mention that were particular favorites of Paul and mine to listen to together and study; all the Coltrane quartet, Monk (particularly Monk/Trane), Cannonball Adderley, Mingus, Bill Evans, Jimmy Smith, Charles Earland, Dizzy, Charley Parker, Jimmy Scott but of all of them I became and still am a huge fan of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers sound and of course - Coltrane.

I was able to identify with the themes being played in many of the standards we were listening to being played in a different new way because I had become so familiar with those songs through out my youth in our home. It was because of great influence of my brother and all the times and fun we had together listening to jazz that I was able to become a host of a jazz program at WMNF Community Radio (88.5 FM) in Tampa.  Paul joined me on several occasions on the show where we would swing hard from beginning to end. 

We did a lot of dancing and singing too! Once there was a mashed potatoes contest in our kitchen between Paul and Toni, and Peter who all thought that their version of doing the mashed potatoes was the superior method. It was when my sister Toni broke into a shing a ling followed by the Philly and a quick slide into a Watussi that she was declared the winner – for that day! The TOM TOM Club – James Brown, Stevie Wonder, the Temps, Bobby Brown, Parliament, Fantastic Voyage, Funky Nasseau - all types of funk and soul and we also used to sing a lot and break it down on the dance floor which was anywhere we were hanging at the time.  Paul once demonstrated his own version of the Doctor Detroit Power Walk while we played the Title theme from the movie “Doctor Detroit”.

Mostly, we had fun and worked things out and hung out. My brother was a loyal friend and confidant.

There are many many cuts that I will always identify with my brother and the list would be very long but I will list a few:

Senor Blues, the entire Toyko Blues by Horace Silver.

Moanin, Like Someone in Love, The Blues March, High Fly, A Night inTunisia, Dat Dare – all versions by the Jazz Messengers.

Bohemia After Dark, Jeanine,  – Cannon Ball Adderley

Waltz for Debbie, Minority, Peace Piece, Make Someone Happy (with Tony Bennett) – Bill Evans

Giant Steps, Afro Blue, Africa, Greensleeves, A Love Supreme, Nancey, Dear Lord, My One and Only Love and a personnel favorite of mine – Lush Life (with Johnny Hartman) – Coltrane

Well You Needn’t, Epistrophy, I Mean You, In Walked Bud, and many more Monk tunes

I will end by quoting a Hank Mobley tune that says it all when I would be hanging with my brother Paul because there was:

“No Room for Squares”!

Nicholas Lagos, P.E.

Terry Burns Remembers "THE Paul Lagos"

I first heard Paul Lagos at age 17 (1973) in Omaha, NE when he played with 
the "Pure Food and Drug Act". My friend, Dave Stryker, hipped me to 
"Sugarcane", Randy Resnick, Victor Conte, and Harvey Mandel. I was blown 
away and could not get enough. When I moved to Los Angeles in 1982, I got a 
call from a sax player asking me if I wanted to go to a jam session at Paul 
Lagos' house. I said, "You mean THE Paul Lagos"? He replied that he didn't 
know...But I did. When I got there, sure enough, it was THE Paul Lagos! I 
couldn't believe it. Anyway, that night began a 30 year friendship that I 
will cherish the rest of my life.

Paul was much more than a friend to me. He was my teacher and mentor in so 
many areas of my life. Paul was my biggest influence not only musically, but 
also philosophically, ideologically, and religiously. Our discussions on the 
road for 30 years, and our musical collaborations, culminating in the 2006 
release of Paul's solo record, "Just in Time", are some of the most special 
moments in my life.

I came to the Twin Cities in 1994, and lived with Paul for a while. He was 
absolutely there for me when I needed him. His health began to deteriorate 
about 10 years ago with prostrate cancer (which he beat) and arthritis, 
which saddened him that he was no longer able to play like he used to...

I will always miss Paul, and cherish his memory. He was the baddest of the 
baddest, and the master of music. This is the end of an era in music, and 
the end of my greatest teacher.

Terry Burns 
October 25, 2009

Randy Resnick, Paul Lagos, Terry Burns in Geneva, 1995

Paul at the Audito

Paul is so cool, whether he knows the tune or not. This was truly live, almost no rehearsal, hanging together by a thread and a little common culture. Contains one of our catch phrases from the Sugarcane Harris days, "total disgrace".