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Thread: The passing of Larry Watson.

  1. #1
    Harvey's Front Row

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    The passing of Larry Watson.

    So I'm sure by now everyone knows about Larry. It happened when our board was down, so we didnt really get to talk about it here. But it was all over the **** and facebook. And we did a couple posts on our blog about him. Now that our board is back up, I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings on the loss of an icon and a friend.

    I could write a book on what Larry meant to custom cars. Many of us could. He meant everything to this club. Without him, there would be no LBCC. His influence is in everything we do as a club. Many of us built cars in his honor or cars that gave a direct nod to the style he pioneered. And all of us respected Larry for his unmatched vision and wonderful talent. He was truly one of the greatest innovators and contributors to custom paint and custom cars in general. Every candy job, panel job, patterned car...hell...even lowered car owes a good part of its existence to Larry Watson.

    I didn't meet Larry till 2007. But since then I had the great opportunity to see him and talk to him again and again. I visited his house a couple times. His hospitality was tremendous. He always invited me back and also invited me to the local cruise in his neighborhood many times. Those were always the best evenings. I remember sitting in a lawn char next to Larry. Nobody was there but the two of us. And I got to pick his brain about the history of painting, various techniques, and many details about specific cars he'd done. I've said it before..Larry was a painter's painter. He could sit there and talk shop for hours on end. I learned a great deal from hanging with Larry Watson. And for that, I'll always be grateful.

    We lost Larry at 3am on Tuesday, July 20th 2010. I heard the news at 7am. My first reaction was shock. Then I felt sick. Lost my appetite and just didnt know what to say or do. It took some time to really sink in and when it did it was difficult for me, and for everyone that was close to him I'm sure. I cant imagine how his close friends and family felt. I know they're still struggling to cope with the loss. Even when it is expected, you're never really ready. And in Larry's case, it wasn't expected to happen as soon as it did. The cancer took him before many people even knew he was sick.

    I received and made a few phone calls that day. Each one seemed more difficult than the last. I thank those of you who I spoke to that day. Sometimes we have no words. I know you guys understand. Please know that your friendship means the world. And I offer mine in return.

    So now what? Larry's services are this weekend. I know it will be difficult. I also know it will be cathartic. More than anything, I want to show respect to Larry and his family and friends. We're all a big extended family anyway. It will be good to go and support each other as well. He deserves the best.

    And what of the future without a Larry Watson? Well, I say he's still here. He is here in our hearts and minds. He is here in our memories and our influences. But most of all, Larry Watson is here in the way that we carry on the tradition that he started. The tradition of building customs built for the boulevard. Customs that have a look and feel that is unmistakeably "Watson Style". Larry was one of the greatest painters the world has ever seen. And he should be celebrated as such. Its up to us to preserve his memory. To tell his story. And its up to us to fill this world with the color that was lost with his passing. Thats what I plan to do. That's what I want for this club.

    Rest In Peace Larry. I know you're doing some crazy paint jobs wherever you're at. And with "real paint". None of that "commie bullshit"!


    Last edited by Eryk; 07-27-2010 at 07:31 PM.
    "Your car is so low, Bill Hines has to duck to get in." - Trent Sherrill

  2. #2
    Casual Cruiser

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    I still can't put into words just how deeply rooted he was in this hobby of ours. Almost every interest I have in custom cars goes right back to him. He was the epitome of style until the very end and will be greatly missed. To steal a few words from Jonh Denich, the day larry passed "the world became a little less colorful."

    Here's a tribute page I made for the upcoming issue of Church. By chance, it also has 2 shots of Watson's 58 bird "Vino Paisano".
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Thanks for posting up a tribute thread in Watson's honor. A great man with amazing talent. My thoughts go out to his close friends and loved ones.

    > Roger, I know that you and Larry were long time friends, I hope your doing ok.

  4. #4
    Casual Cruiser

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    Thank you for doing this, Eryk. Someone needed to put it all into words, and you did a great job. I never met Larry, but he has been a huge influence on me.
    That seems to be the theme with a lot of us, and that speaks volumes about the man.
    I won't make the trip down for the service. Unfortunately, I'm attending a memorial for a close friend who passed, up here in Seattle. I appreciate your representation and presence down there, for those of us too far away.
    Thanks again for your reverence, class, and sharing the love.
    No rest for the wicked awesome.

  5. #5
    Casual Cruiser

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    Well put Eryk. Still processing this. One of the first Paso's I went to I bought a Watsons Grease Machines shirt. He was right there in the booth, but I was so star struck and nervous i didnt say a thing, only nodded. Wish I could go back and shake his hand and thank him. Tremendous loss. May he always walk in peace...

    P.S. Fuck Cancer!!

  6. #6
    Harvey's Front Row

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    Excellent words, Eryk. Yes, I know it's way more than that, but I don't know how else to put it.

    I have never met him, but through my involvement in the automotive industry from fabrication, body, to paint, I have always known people that had once worked for him or even knew him in high school and hung out with him. I've heard tons of stories, everyone of them as colorful as a Watson paint job. Even though Larry was so close, so close that my buddy's dad painted the restored 'Bird, I failed at ever shaking the man's hand and thanking him.

    It"s weird how much his passing has weighed on me. I was a work Monday night spraying guitar bodies thinking about his painting and his influence over all things paint related and decided to scrap my old plan on my car. When it sees color, it's going to be in his honor. As a painter, It shouldn't be any other way.

    Thank you for posting this.

  7. #7
    ♠ LBCC East ♠

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    Well put, Eryk.
    Larry Watson's passing is a huge loss for the automotive world and specifically for this club. So much of what we love can be traced right back to him.

    The Pearly Gates will be getting a fresh coat of Pearl.

  8. #8
    ♠ LBCC Nor Cal ♠

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    I don't have much more to add, you guys have said it all.... R.I.P. Mr. Watson....
    ♠ 1965 Buick Riviera ♠
    ♠ 1952 Chevy Truck ♠
    ♠ 1938 Ford Deluxe Coupe ♠

  9. #9
    Casual Cruiser

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    RIP Larry.

  10. #10
    ♠ LBCC So Cal ♠

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    I am at a loss for words. I am just finding out about the passing of Larry by reading this post. Shocked and saddened. He will be missed. Condolences and prayers to his family. Thank you Eryk for the tribute thread.

  11. #11
    Casual Cruiser

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    R.I.P. Mr. Watson....

    You will be missed!
    Who's the more foolish?
    The fool or the fool who follows him?

  12. #12
    Harvey's Front Row

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    The legend... alot of people are shaken up by his passing and rightfully so. I saw tributes from many big time names including Winfield that are really upset about this. Eryk you are a lucky man to have had the chance to meet and shoot the shit with Watson. Those are priceless memories that must be cherished for life.

  13. #13
    Boulevard Bomber

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    The man was incredible and as expected....going out in style. RIP ( pics courtesy of the **** )

    I would say that punk rock has non-terminal cancer. It's got a lot of fucked up growths on it, but it's not gonna die from it - Fat Mike ...

  14. #14
    Boulevard Bomber

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    not going to pretend i knew him,but i met him at the pomona swap meet about 15 years ago and he just struck me as a very nice person.
    I feel greatful to have met him at all and am saddened as if he was a close friend.

  15. #15
    Boulevard Bomber

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    Eyrk sorry I didn't get much of a chance to bs with you today, but I hope to corner you sometime to make up for it. Roger

  16. #16
    ♠ LBCC High Desert ♠

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    That casket is a nice tribute. RIP Watson.
    1969 Mercury Montego MX -- ¡Cállate la boca!
    Roach Motel II -- 1968 Fairlane 500 Wagon

    "Two on the street is worth more than 20 on the board." -- 64sled

  17. #17
    Casual Cruiser

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    This is really sad, there's two guys that were very inspiring, Watson and Winfield. There were scallops and fades before both of these gents, but I daresay these guys took it to a whole nother level. The really cool thing is that it's very likely both of these guys were not formally trained in design or art but they had a natural, intuitive, and keen sense of how color and shapes affect a car's pre-existing lines, look, and feel.

  18. #18
    ♠ LBCC High Priest ♠

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    Larry Watson was a prophet. He was put on this earth to teach poor-sucker-humans about style... and he did.

    I was pretty messed up when I learned of his passing. Pretty much everything I love about custom cars is linked to something he did at some point during his career. Somehow I never realized that until the moment I learned that he was gone. I will always regret that I missed the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for his vision.

    Its undeniable that there would be no Los Boulevardos if there was no Larry Watson. And I know for sure that I would be a different person today if he never happened. From now on I feel a greater sense of responsibility to style and drive my cars with pride. The best I can do is to try to interpret the work he did in the best way that I can. I think that's the best we all can do.

    Rest in peace Mr. Watson.
    Every subsequent drive I take in my Catalina is humbly dedicated to you.
    Tradition didn't end in 1964

  19. #19

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    I'm still trying to absorb the passing of the custom auto paint world's Great One, Larry Watson. It feels like a member of my family passed away.

    Two years ago, my good friend Charlie Mawhinney passed away and it was very hard to deal with. He was only 56, so it came as a real shock. Charlie was the one who educated me on Watson way back in the late 80's. Charlie was always Larry's biggest fan, and his admiration helped turn a small group of knucklehead barrio kids on the verge of gangsta life into custom car nuts. That veered us away from a bad lifestyle that may have eventually got one or all of us killed. Well, just over 20 years later, Charlie is gone, and so is Larry.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Larry at Paso back in 2003. He was such a nice guy, so full of life and love for custom cars, and the people who build and drive them. He graciously talked to me for a while, and even took some time to check out my Buick. He had nothing but nice things to say. He was especially impressed that we DROVE out all the way from Colorado. Meeting him was one of the highlights in my life, and I will never forget him.

    When I heard of Larry's passing, it was like a double whammy for me. Not only did I have to deal with the new situation of dealing with Larry's death, but the passing of Charlie came screaming back. It was like Charlie had died all over again. My emotions were a wreck. It was so bad that I was having dreams about hanging out with Larry and Charlie. I would wake up happy thinking everything was cool, and then reality would hit and my depressed feeling would come back.

    On Saturday evening I was reflecting on things, wishing I could've made the trip out to Califas for the funeral and paid my final respects to the man I've admired for a long time, but California's a long way from Edgewater, Colorado. So, I spent a good deal of time making a tribute video to Larry. I got it all done, posted it on YouTube, and their copyright police blocked it from public viewing because of the music I used. Everything I tried to get it up online failed. I eventually had to re-do the whole thing and I finally got it to work. I had to use different music, which I really like my original choice better, but this song got it by the copyright deal.

    I used alot of pictures I collected from the **** and here. I hope nobody minds.

    I put this up on the ****, and I knew it had to go up here, the only place where Larry Watson is revered almost as much as at my house.

    I hope you all like it.

    For Larry.......................E

    Last edited by Eryk; 08-03-2010 at 09:34 AM.
    Larry Watson 1939-2010

  20. #20
    Harvey's Front Row

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    I must say it was pretty incredible, considering i never met him i think the news of his passing got to me kinda heavy. Im usually not too touched when people i dont personally know die, and i find it disturbing and lame when guys pretend they care just cause someone died.
    This time it was different. Im not saying that im suffering big time as it wouldnt be fair in respect to those that are really having a hard time coping w/ this loss, but it sure left a void inside me.
    I can only guess how hard has to be for his close relatives and friends to lose such a guy, someone that left a mark of this magnitude by ingenuingly following his instincts, must have been the best and most loyal friend a guy could have.
    Larry left an empty spot, one that can only be filled by the memories of his lifetime achievements, and no matter how many painters will pop out that are goin to be technically better than Larry, he is, and he will always be The One and Only, The Originator, everything else and everybody else can only be second best......w/ all due respect to all the kick ass painters in the car world of course.
    RIP Larry, and thank you for your vision, as The Boulevardos already said: W/out you there would be no us.
    Sent from my ouiji board with black magic powers

    - I Bomb Mes3 -

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