Memorial created 06-4-2008 by
|Laura Rachel Allan|
February 1 1952 - May 19 2008
Guest Book Entries are free and are posted after being reviewed for appropriate content.
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05-03-2011 1:08 PM -- By: Cary Raditz, From: Nairobi
Laura was an extraordinary person who lived among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. While doing research on her “Art Car” I just found out that she had died. The Car was just one facet in one cultural nexus among many through which she moved and worked. Laura’s boyfriend was in the art car was Dickens 44 Bascom, a star “Gluer" among those in the “Unknown Museum” of junk-glued objects on a side street in Mill Valley. The CA Highway Patrol voted their amazing car best in class for years. Laura and Dickens would show up in the car for concerts dressed in outrageous costumes a la “The Incredible String Band.”
I met Laura along with her instrument-maker mentor, Joellen Lapidus, at Joni’s house in Lookout Mountain Drive in Laurel Canyon in the summer of 1970. Joellen made Joni her first dulcimer. Laura was 18 at the time had just stepped out of a renaissance painting of angels. When I moved back to California from Greece in the fall of 1970, Laura, Joellen and I got to be friends. She and Joellen lived in a group house of music instrument craftsmen in Forest Knolls in the redwoods several blocks above Sir Francis Drake. The house was owned by Carolina, whose grandfather invented the concrete vibrator. Among the other gifted instrument craftsmen in that circle was Robbie Long, who lived and worked down the road in Lauganitas. Once in San Rafael behind the studio of tabla player, Ali Akbar Khan, Laura gave me a little scrap of white leather on which she had written in tiny script, “Good for a dance or two, and when we we're through, we’ll kiss the moon.” I carried that in my wallet for years waiting for a dance.
I saw Laura perform often at the “Sleeping Lady Café” in Fairfax, and as a member of the Fairfax Street Choir where she sang soprano and tap danced. She also performed as a strolling street musician in the Renaissance Pleasure Faire walking a tightrope playing a fiddle. The stories go on. I saw her last In the mid 80's in New York, 21 East 21st Street. Bye Laura, I was wonderful knowing you. XX
05-03-2011 1:06 PM -- By: Cary Raditz, From: Nairobi
04-23-2011 11:17 PM -- By: Bradly Scott (Ross-Itsalongstory), From: Marin / Wenatchee, WA
Laura's Family: I am so sorry for your loss. I've just now learned of, & am shocked to hear of, her passing.
I was introduced to Laura in '74, in the Sleeping Lady days, by Bryan (a band-mate of mine) & Heide Hodes, who said, "You Gotta see/hear this girl!" They were sure my Valje Congas & her Dulcimer/Zither/Piano/Flute/Vocals would be a match made in Heaven.
They were so inspired by Laura, that Bryan, a fine singer-songwriter-guitarist, made @ least 2 (or 3?) Dulcimers for Heide, who learned Laura's songs. - I was immediately mezmerised by Laura's music, & enamored by her inner & outer Beauty!
I was a huge fan (blades as big as a wind-machine!), went to all of Laura's concerts, & wanted badly (- later to be my nickname) to play Percussion with her, which I made clear...
Laura responded by singing entire shows directly to me with eye contact, much to the consternation of my guy friends! I thought I was dreaming, until, coming away from a particularly important (for Laura) S.F. show, they said, "Gee, I wish she'd sing to ME like that..." Maybe I was her muse...
My day-job was @ Pacific Stereo, so I schemed to hand-deliver (which was not part of the store's deal) her repaired (Dual?Nakamichi?) cassete-recorder to her house in Mill Valley.
Laura answered the door with that Magic Twinkle in her eye & that Golden Smile that would light up the world, & said, "ah, it's You!", & invited me in. She inspired me to write my 1st song... (about her...)
Laura was always extremely kind & gracious, & eventually had me over to her house to exchange tapes, kick stuff around, & discuss the possibilities of me joining her live, on Percussion.
It seemed this was about to come to fruition, when Laura was whisked off to L.A. for that 1st album, with "Professional, studio Musicians" (he said, with an aire of haughty-ness...!)
I later moved to Colorado, then Washington State, & lost contact with her. I've performed &/or recorded with more than 100 ensembles since, some famous, but I'll always lament not being able to pursue playing live / recording with Laura. Maybe I'll be fortunate enough to join her with the "Angels In Heaven Choir"!
The World is a better, more Loving place for Laura having graced it's surface; she touched our souls... Plus, she just sounded awesome! Laura will be Truly missed...
Thanx to Jeffrey for making this site available for our sharing. Thanx also to Pat & Bill Craig (I used to go to all your shows, too, you Devils!); Joel Bernstein; Carolyn (I used to have a crush on you - I know you remember...!); & everyone, for making this sad news just a little bit easier to assimilate, by reading all your stories... This was like visiting with Laura & old friends...! Bless You All !
Hallelujah! What a great time for Heaven!
Still compelled to make music, Bradly Scott, Percussionista
04-22-2011 12:15 PM -- By: mario alberto munguia, From: berkeley ca
02-21-2011 8:44 AM -- By: Paul Headon, From: Swansea Walesbw8
02-20-2011 1:32 PM -- By: gene mock, From: loomis, ca
Wish I would have known her in her time---she would be somewone I would call friend.
02-08-2011 4:59 PM -- By: tom, From: Vienna / austria
I was about ten when my brotherfirst played the Laura Allen album (80´ or so). From this moment on some of the songs came along withe me until today. Maybe i didnt listen for a year, but finally your songs came back to me anyhow. Thank you for all the music - your songs feels like part of my family. love & peace whereever U are
02-01-2011 9:57 PM -- By: , From:
God Bless You! What a beautiful lady!
01-29-2011 12:44 PM -- By: jim hunt, From: sonora,ca
I saw Laura in the '70's w/ crosby @ the palace of fine arts, & was capivated by her perfomance, very raw & genuine. I really hope she,Her music,& her instruments will live on in the souls of those She touched, because She touched me.
01-20-2011 3:43 PM -- By: steve, From: phoenix
12-02-2010 5:00 AM -- By: Gordon Noice, From: Honolulu
Maybe late in coming but my thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Thanks for the music, Laura, wish I could get "I'm In Good Shape". Made me tear up...
10-06-2010 11:31 AM -- By: Shon Gale, From: Eugene, OR
I am so sorry she left us. She was my angel! I heard her lovely voice at many a rehearsal with the Fairfax Street Choir. I remember her first rejections from the record companies because they said she was like Joni Mitchell. What a compliment! In many ways she was better because her soul lived in in the instruments she made and played. She made her music from scratch and that is the most profound way to reach your muse.
08-18-2010 9:49 PM -- By: Jason Bernardi, From: Mountain View, HI
I am so sorry for your losses but Laura does live on in her music. I remeber her singing & playing with the Fairfax Street Choir many years ago. She was a stand out, dressed in white & performing with her heart. I benefit every time I listten to Reflections album.
08-04-2010 7:46 PM -- By: Greg Clark, From: Seattle
Loved Laura's album from 1978....Sorry to hear of her passing...
06-18-2010 9:18 AM -- By: Nicholas Maulding, From: Austin Tx.
I remember thinking what a great picture of her inside the David Crosby album, a wonderful talent , left us too soon.
05-30-2010 3:22 PM -- By: , From:
It has been 2 years since you passed. Hard to believe. It saddens my heart to realize that since I was here the last time, we have now lost our dear, sweet Shauna, as well. I pray that you and she are hanging together and that you have taught her to play the dulcimer. Oh, how she loved to listen to you sing. We all did. I know you are now blessing heaven with your angelic love.
Shanna, friend to Shauna who was a patient in Reno at an Alternative Treatment Center while Laura was there - Feb. 2008
05-02-2010 5:41 PM -- By: Chet Nichols II, From: Chicago
It is with great sorrow that I just read of Laura's passing. I knew she was sick but found nothing about her condition until now.
I am also a singer-songwriter. I "fell in love" with Laura back in the mid-1970'. She was easy to become attracted to and clearly, everyone who met her also "fell in love" with her heart, spirit and artistry. I was introduced to Laura when my producer, Stephen Barncard, was able to convince her to sing back-up vocals on several of my songs on my CD, "Taxi To Tonganoxie". You can hear her voice cutting through on the tracks: "Rock and Roll Music", "You've Got The Keys To My Heart" and others. Laura and I have a common love for the dulcimer....which I use on a lot of my recordings. When I met her she was going out with my buddy and drummer, Fuzzy John Oxendien.
A couple years ago, I bought several of her CDs and really love "Telegraph". Then, again, I love all her music.
Anyway, I am sorry to hear she has passed-on, but I also know she is in a "great, great place". She clearly has left this earth a better place by sharing her music with us.
My prayers go out to her family and friends.
05-02-2010 5:41 PM -- By: Chet Nichols II, From: Chicago
03-01-2010 3:37 PM -- By: dusty akers, From: mairn
really knocked me for a loop hearing this..i'll be missing you for all you were for the rest of my life...good journeys laura see ya on the other side a ho
02-26-2010 7:13 PM -- By: Carla Fay, From:
just found out recently that Laura passed. I had not seen her for several years but will remember many a night at the Bison and around Berkeley. Will remember you.
01-12-2010 1:15 PM -- By: Sharanam Lew Risingsun Judd, From: Marin County CA/ Eugene OR
To All Family and Friends, I must say it kind of hit me "like a ton of bricks" when i heard (SO long after the fact at that!)....that She was gone...the emotions just came flooding down. Its hard to imagine someone so beautiful, so strong, and so powerful, being laid low by death. Some people just have such an obvious "aura of immortality" written on their souls...for better or worse I only ever saw Her in Her Glory, Power and Sweetness, and those are the images written in my Heart of Hearts, that time can't erode. I never knew her anywhere as much as i would have wanted to. In a way She was "so far above me", that i could only look up at her half blinded by her bright and towering aura. I mentioned in the tribute i wrote, that she seemed to glow from within. Of course on the stage, under the lights, with all the world's attention focused upon Her this was expected...but in the very few hours of one on one time i was lucky enough to share, i was amazed by the Light, Love, and Pure Divine Energy flowing from Her at all times. I specifically remember being amazed that she had this very fine pure gold hair all over her body that glistened no matter what the light conditions were. I also remember that She seemed so big and strong, almost like a man...I don't if that was truly, Her physical size, or just a projection of a large Spirit. I was seriously affected by Her, seriously In Love with Her....... and.....since, She didn't ever choose me, as a lover, i was more than happy to spend any time at all with Her. It was interesting to just now find out, that she was born just a few months before me in 1952, because She was ahead of me in every possible dimension. In those days my skill as a musician and my confidence as a man, were so rudimentary, that we were almost on "different planets". It is a tribute to her caring, loving nature, that she would spend any energy at all relating to me. She was already hanging out with the "superstars" of the era, and for Her to agree to meet me at all was unbelievable. I was always amazed that she never seemed to hit that "superstar status" herself, that she was truly capable of. I guess if there is anything that could be considered seemingly,"tragic", that i know of her existence, its the lack of mass recognition, and possible financial riches that should have been Hers, by any standard, of skill, quality, musical genius, beauty, fame, or other levels of "making it". I do hope that you and others will endeavour to write and illustrate Her Life Story, and that Her music be compiled and made available to all. I would gladly contribute these few and more words the effort, and would dearly Love to perform a musical tribute to her on the dulcimer. I have from humble beginnings in her shadow gone on to design, build, and acquire world class instruments, and develop a unique style dulcimer playing that is sweet, serene, and powerful. I know She would be touched and uplifted to hear the fruits, grown from the seeds of Inspiration she planted so long ago. I would have rushed thousands miles or more to play at her memorial, or bedside, had i known....Unlike Her i am an extremely "late bloomer" and have a sweet gift to give in this Present Era...if there was ever an opportunity I would be honoured to do so.
In Her Name, In Friendship and In Love, Namaste, Sharanam
01-10-2010 4:32 PM -- By: Sharanam Lew Risingsun Judd, From: Marin County CA/ Eugene OR
Laura Allan was a musical angel that came to earth uplift the souls of many early "flower children" and "new age hippies". We shared an unusual connection both of us being players of the dulcimer and the zither. She was a inspiration to me of what could be done on these simple, but extremely harmonius instruments. Of course her most developed instrument was her sweet lilting voice. I can remember many many performances, as a solo, duo, and with the legendary Fairfax Street Choir, where all of us were transported to a tender, open hearted place, that was the hallmark of her songs. I know that as a young man I was never alone at her shows, always in the company of so many others like myself, In Love with the "Ultimate Dream Girl". After some time I mustered the courage to take a few dulcimer lessons with her in a charming old house on some long forgotten street on a Marin hillside in the woods. I remember seeing a beautiful gold flute that she told me was a gift given to her by David Crosby...THAT was an awesome revalation! I was already "starstruck" and now I felt like i was with "royalty". Despite my nervousness and constant goosebumps, she was kind, and humble, and a great teacher. I will always remember what a radiant being she was, she literally was glowing. The bliss of being in her aura was intense. After those lessons, I made an attempt to go to every gig I could. In 1977 along with Gurumukh Mark Harris, I founded Rhythm & Bliss, band and production company, and we hired her for one of our first concerts at Sonoma State College, eventually this led to founding of the Harmony Festival which continues to this day. In the ensuing years she moved on to LA to reach for greater success, and I lost touch. Over the years SHE was one of those special people you always remember and pay homage to as an icon of music, Soul, and Spirit. In later years as I gained mastery as a dulcimer player I had always wish to reconnect with her, to show her what had become of her student, and maybe even perform with her. When the email from Mukh came in noting her passing, I felt those pangs of regret for not making the effort to find her earlier. If any one was ever to create a gathering devoted to her memory, I would be priveledged to play for that. I know now that She is always listening to those sweet sounds of the dulcimer in Her True Abode. May All Blessings Be Upon The Soul of An Angel, and May Her Music be Played and Remembered Forever.
Namaste, Sharanam Lew Risingsun
PS: Anyone who wishes to, can reach me at email@example.com
01-09-2010 9:58 PM -- By: Gurumukh Mark C Harris, From: California, Oregon
Laura, was my dulcimer guru, the inspiration for picking it up and going pro myself, and definitely an inspiration for my music and band Rhythm & Bliss. I had one dulcimer lesson with her in the 70's, I remember those days in Marin, the Street Choir, David's album, her Elektra deal, Reflections, and I once had a cassette recording of "Old Ways" that she said was her first studio recording, and a recording made at the House of Good, which ironically later became the Jim Jone's Peoples Temple.
She lives on in many dulcimer and zither songs. Till we meet again angel. Ishk Allah Mabood Lillah: God is Love Lover and Beloved.
11-29-2009 9:28 PM -- By: Loren Dubai aka(Edmund Venella), From: New Jersey
The news of Laura's passing goes deep within my heart. I met Laura back in 1970. I was the manager of the Good Earth Natural Food store in Fairfax, and she would visit the store often, and we became very close friends. As time went by, I have very fond memories of her and the other good folk who lived up in 'the giggle house' in Forestville, gathering together to play and sing and laugh. There was always laughter in that house that would shine through Laura like a beacon of pure light. What a beautiful smile, and what a beautiful soul...
Her good friend Robbie created my first dulcimer. At that time she was busy designing and making one of her zithers. She was talented at all that she did. I eventually left Fairfax and Marin county to do some organic farming in North Carolina...but I almost never left because of my bond with sweet Laura...but I finally moved on and she pressed a heartfelt note into my hand that day, that I send back to her now...
"We are never really apart dear love, when you hear the rustle of the leaves, and the wind in the sky, it is me talking to you from across the miles."
Rest in Peace dear Laura...you are loved always...
Thank you to Jeffrey for making this blessed memorial.
11-18-2009 9:48 PM -- By: Jonathan Popper, From: Berkeley
a wonderful one you are, sing on!
11-16-2009 4:51 PM -- By: Steve Killebrew, From: Applegate, CA
The very worst news that I've heard in a long time. I saw a show by Bill Champlin last night and spoke with him after the show. I wanted to know if he remembered the band that Laura told me they laughed about starting back in the day that would be called "Lie Back and Be Cool". What a great person she was, and a great soul she still is. I originally fell in love with her first album, which she asked me if I really liked. Yeah... We first really met on Telegraph Ave. Berkeley about 1997 at Bison Brewing when she was making a bit of a "come back" from a bad ladder accident. I'd previously seen her at the Sleeping Lady, and opening for David Crosby in S.F. at the Old Waldorf. You couldn't help but be captivated. She and her band did some absolutely wonderful low-key performances at the Bison. I even got to play some tamborine during a song or two, it was such a mellow and welcoming vibe. I'd lost track of her several times during all the years, but always wondered what she was doing, and when the next album might come out. You could never get enough of her. It's just shocking and unbelievable, stunning. Thank you Jeffrey for creating this memorial. Memories of her will last forever.
11-14-2009 9:03 AM -- By: Mark Holsman, From: Fairfax, CA
I always loved Laura. We knew each other way back in Fairfax in the days of the street choir. She got mad at me when I warned her about going off to LA with Bill C. I hope she understands now why I did. If anyone made it to heaven, she did. This world was not her home.
08-24-2009 8:56 PM -- By: Glenn Jensen, From: San Francisco
I remember back in the early to mid seventies. I first saw Laura featured with the fairfax street choir. I remember being wowed by Laura's performance. A couple of years later I began seeing more of her around. I seemed to remember her performing on Haight Street at a little venue, I believe it was called the US cafe. I was in love with her music. I went to the Magic Pan one night just to hear her perform. People were coming and going hardly giving her a notice. I was sitting on chair or sofa with a glass a wine, my only intention was to listen to her. She seemed thrilled that someone was listening to her so intently. I will tell you, the thrill was all mine. She came over and sat right in front of me and sang right to me. She was the Siren Extraordinare. I melted right there. There must of been a huge puddle of goo where I once was sitting. Last I heard in the latter seventies she was making an album but I don't recall much more after that. I thought of her today and I thought I would look her up on the internet. I had no idea that she had passed. These memories I'm writing about are flooding my mind, and my heart is truly broken from the news. My heart goes out to her and to everyone who was ever touched by her. Laura I will never forget you! Ever!! Glenn
08-18-2009 2:49 AM -- By: Pamela Lama, From: Italy
I wish I could spend more time with you, but what we had was enough to make you live in my heart
07-30-2009 12:50 PM -- By: Pat Craig, From: Petaluma
The first time I saw Laura Allan was in 1973. She was playing at being a water nymph in a pool at a hippie estate in the hills above San Geronimo Valley. She was probably all of 18 years old. My friend, who lived there, said in passing, "You need to hear this girl sing." At the moment I was, however, more than charmed by her physical assets and let the comment go.
The first time I heard Laura was in 1976. Then I really understood the totality of the Laura Allan experience. She was a charmer, a beauty, a true performing and songwriting genius, and a delight to be around - except in those brief and seldom seen moments when you might experience the Saracen sword of a momentary anger sent in your direction like Thor's Hammer. But those times were few, and more than balanced by the sheer joy of hanging with LA.
We wrote some songs together and did a lot of performances - The Looking for Your Long Lost Mind Review comes to mind (I did find it eventually), and the duet we did on True Friends on the Give Me Wings album that came out around then.
At one point we were boyfriend and girl friend for about six weeks and then the comet-like rush of her search for new experiences broke her free from the gravitational pull of mundane romance and she was off to the next planet in our solar system. It didn't stop us from being true friends and over the years our orbits would cross from time to time, always with accompanying laughs and hugs.
She was generous, concerned, passionate, loving, and extremely funny. Yet in spite of her ability to relate to all people and make you feel like you were "it", Laura had the interesting quality of always being the center of her own universe. But when the Hubble Telescope of our earth-bound observation is trained on the galaxies she populated, and the beauty and wonder of it all comes into view, who can blame her?
She was a mold-breaker, yes indeed.....
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