The Richard Fallis Memorial
With the support of Richard's family and especially the help of his sister Lorraine, Stuart Patterson (his best friend), David Given (his roommate) and I held a memorial tribute to his life at Petit Campus a few blocks from Richard's apartment on De Bullion in Montreal on March 27, 2019 to honour our friend. The event was catered by Eva Cubas and Yvon Babin who operated Richard's favourite coffee shop in the last years of his life. Videos of the event may be watched here: Facebook 1, Facebook 2, Facebook 3, Facebook 4, Facebook 5 and Facebook 6.
Richard Fallis Memorial: Opening Remarks
Hello everyone and welcome to the Life Celebration of Richard Fallis. Bass Player and Human Being Extraordinaire!! Richard was born on Friday September 14, 1951, and died on Monday December 3, 2018, at the age of 67 at the Glen hospital. Richard was our friend, and probably the best musician you ever knew personally. Tonight we celebrate his life through his music, through song, and through our shared memories. We’ll start by putting on some videos of Richard performing. After this, I’ll play 3 songs dedicated to Richard and then invite everyone who knew our friend to come onstage and share memories of him. Joe and Maggy will then perform and after we will listen to some of Richard’s recording as well as some of his favourite music before we end the evening around 10PM.
Before we start with the videos, I would like to thank Lorraine, Richard’s sister and all his family for making this evening possible with their support. Stu Patterson and I are hosting this event, and as Richard’s best friend, Stu has been a rock throughout. Thank you David for your help in organizing, and for your kindness through your years as Richard’s flatmate. Thanks as well to all the kind staff of Complete Care and to Eva for catering this memorial and providing our dear Richard with a wonderful warm spot to listen to great music outside his own home … as well as delicious coffee he was so addicted to! Now, please speak together and remember Richard as we watch some videos of the master in action. I will play my short tribute set in about half an hour. Thank you all for coming.
Richard Fallis Memorial: Introduction To Our Shared Memories
Friend, master musician, funkster, bluesman, avid-reader, mentor, music-snob, coffee-junkie, punster, spiritual traveller, singer, harp-player, arranger, songwriter and best bass player anywhere … In Richard’s passing we have all lost a great human being. Of all these aspects of his life, Richard was first and foremost a friend to me. He helped Stu and I and many others through rough times … with wisdom, humour … and most of all kindness.
But, as he became to so many other people, he was also my main musical mentor. I learned so much about the Mississippi Intro, about Aretha, Muddy, Donny, Butter, Cotton, Pinetop, Longhair and Tower of Power from him. I learned about time … He had the best time … Of anyone. When he counted down a song you entered the Old Testament. It was a thing of beauty. I mentioned that he was a music snob. He was, but, as I told Ron Stutz, that was only because he loved music so much. He gave everyone a hard time on that account because he wanted us to give music the same respect he did.
However Richard was also funny as hell!!! He was so proud of his Toronto Tower of Power funk group “The Proof,” but he always loved to tell me the story of how his trumpet player stood up and blew out his haemorrhoids instead of blowing over a chorus. Whether playing with Willy Ray or the Derek Martin Experience, he was certainly able to see the lighter side of show business.
Richard had a deep wisdom. We spoke of spirituality from the beginning to the end. His concept of “Spiritual Intent” still helps guide my thoughts and ideals to this day. He introduced me to Frankle and I introduced him to Crossan … We didn’t speak of Mickey. Someone else will have to fill in those blanks!
And speaking of those blanks, I know little about Richard before 1993. We went to Morocco together in 1995 but I know there are more than a few road stories from the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Senegal and New Orleans out there waiting to be told. As we now welcome any and all recollections of his life I would especially love to hear some of the tales from his earlier years. Anyone who would like to speak is now invited up …