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Uncle Bruce. Or usually to me just “Uncle.” He would call the house for the 5th or 6th time that day and I would answer “Hey Uncle.” “Hey Niece,” he would respond. I loved those greetings. They somehow made our titles even more special. Anyone who would meet my uncle or me, and certainly anyone who met both of us, was bound to hear the story of the first and I think the only time my parents thought it wise to let him baby-sit by himself. Now don’t get me wrong we played together all the time. We played “Uncle Shark,” which usually ended with me running and screaming. We played an untitled game in which he teased me until I cried. And other creative games that he made up, like the time he hung my favorite stuffed animal with some green yarn in the kitchen. It was indeed a special relationship that we shared. But believe it or not all of the aforementioned games were actually supervised. Now here we were my uncle and his 2_ year-old niece just the two of us. This is how it went. “Kristi time to go inside.” “No,” I said in my brattiest voice. “Yes,” he answered, even brattier. We went back and forth a couple of times and then I kicked him in the shin. Thinking about this now I can imagine my uncle doing nothing other that what he did kick me right back. It didn’t stop there. We actually both got in a few more good kicks until we went inside, marveling at our newfound mutual respect for one another. Ever since that day my uncle has told that story to every friend/boyfriend/co-worker I’ve introduced him to. Shortly after he passed I mentioned to my mom how in the back of my head I’d always pictured him telling it to my children someday. My uncle, the only man who could kick a 2_ year-old, yet still never questioned to be one of the gentlest, most loving people, certainly that I’ve ever been fortunate enough to encounter. Our bond was sealed that day. And it was a bond stronger, I believe, than many if not most uncles and nieces. That’s our story Uncle. I will keep telling it for the both of us.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
There are many wonderful stories to tell about Bruce.we all have them because Bruce was a source of laughter and love in all of our lives. I will never forget Bruce Lazear doing the rockstar splits in his Armani tuxedo at my wedding.while all of the 50-something women poked their husbands in the ribs and whispered "he's YOUR age, you know!". Bruce certainly made an impression anywhere he went. Warm, funny, irreverent, generous and loving.the loving being the most incredible part. I have known Sharleen since I was 12 years old and was blessed to see her life blessed with Bruce. Anyone that met them felt their love--and always the slightest twinge of envy--at what a symbiotic and gorgeous relationship they had. My friends and family who had never met Bruce and Sharleen still comment on how magical they were together, how Bruce's face lit up with pride each time he looked at Sharleen, and how much Sharleen clearly adored Bruce. Years ago, Sharleen and I both became mildly obsessed with a book by Milan Kundera called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". It's a beautiful story and one of the passages keeps coming back to my mind when I think about Sharleen and Bruce's relationship. It reads ""He suddenly recalled the famous myth from Plato's Symposium: People were hermaphrodites until God split them in two, and now all the halves wander the world over seeking one another. Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost." It's a pretty incredible thing to witness that rejoining here on earth in the form of such a great relationship.and a relationship that shared its love with so many others. Love and thanks to all of you in the celebration of Bruce's life and friendship.
Cincinnati, Ohio - Friday, November 07, 2003
I never thought in a million years that my father would leave me so soon. This man who was always my strength, my rationality, and my comfort, was supposed to live forever. In my time, I have never had a better friend than my father.
I've only dreamt about him once since he's passed and it was the best dream I ever had and I only hope he visits me more often in my sleep.
I wrote the below about a week after my father told me about his illness and it sums up my feelings about the way it turned me inside out.
Is this the same sky I was looking at an hour ago?
You came, told me, glitter’s gone, presto.
Now, I’ve lost my taste for this world.
My heart is bursting, all feelings unfurled.
Suddenly, I’m so cold and it’s so dark,
My mind has gone dumb, no kinetic spark
The world is not beautiful anymore, you see.
You, the whirlwind, stole the light from inside me.
Brian, Lili and I love you daddy and you will live on in my family, because Lili will know exactly who you were.
Tuesday, November 4, 2003
I knew a man
that was always positive
that grabbed life and lived every moment
I knew a man
that never left me feeling negative
that laughed at Life's trials
I knew a man
that defined the term "family love"
that jumped every hurdle of religious and ethnic
differences with whomever he met
I knew a man
that fought life's toughest battle and never QUIT
that gave his all so that we, the living, would be far better off
that taught me how to be humble
I knew and loved this man I called Bruce
Texas - Tuesday, August 26, 2003 (posted November 1, 2003)
Bruce was my friend, he was my best friend. We met the summer before 7th grade and for the next few decades we were inseparable. We were there for each other throughout our teens, high school, college and into our late 20's. In 1976 I moved to San Francisco but Bruce and I always remained in touch with each other. And even though we didn't see each other very often, we still had a connection, probably the same connection we felt over 40 years ago. It's a connection of the heart and of the soul. A connection that if we are lucky we get to experience with a few people in our lifetime.
Now there is a new separation, that's further apart than coast to coast, but the connection of heart and soul is still there. And I know that if we keep Bruce in our hearts, that our souls will meet again, it will seem as if almost no time has past and we will always be there for each other. Bruce thanks for being the best friend I could ever have hoped for.
See Ya Later Buddy,
Wednesday, October 8, 2003
I still cannot believe that Bruce is "gone" and that I will never have to cut a visit "short" with Sharleen because she has to go and watch him rehearse - it was my pleasure! To see and know two people so right for each other - so wonderful to eachother was truly an inspiration. And Bruce was an inspiration to many - he was the one to go to when you needed to put things at work back in perspective - and he did! He was the wise man you could talk to about many things and he was always there if you needed him. He was a very talented musician, a wonderful parent, husband, master ( to his beloved pets!/kids!!!) and friend. I know that he was such a true friend - family to all who he embraced and he will be missed forever.
NY, NY - Tuesday, October 7, 2003
as I sat in a restaurant today the conversation lulled me to seek refuge in my many memories of Bruce. I find I do this often it brings me comfort. Bruce still gives to me in this strange way. Bruce should be the benchmark that we live our lives by, never judging, joyous, caring and loving. If we all just try, Just try, in that we keep the essence of him alive in us. Isn't worth a shot.
September 26, 2003
His voice amongst the angels
It is his music that they sing
A pleasure to Gods ears
What joy it does bring
Twas always from his soul
What his hands would play
And from his heart
The words he chose to say
Though sad my burden lightened
By joy to which my heart clings
For he brings pleasure to Gods ears
Amongst the angels he sings.
Tuesday, September 9, 2003
This is Cheryl, drummer for Whiskey Run. My thoughts are with the Sharleen and the entire Lazear family. His extended family seemed to include everyone Bruce met and said was "Family." I am so very happy and proud that I was able to know Bruce and share in the joy that was his music. There was nothing like the smile on Bruce's face when the band was where he thought they should be. I am sorry I will never hear him say: "OK ladies, let's play some rock and roll and let's go to the swamp!!"
How I came to the band: well I had sat in for the other drummer a few times and one day he called me up at home. I barely knew him and he said "Hi, it's Bruce, your bass player." That was it. I couldn't say no to that!! I am so glad I didn't, and am honored to have known him. It didn't seem to take Bruce long to get to know people, and he had my number down quickly!! He taught me a lot about what is important and what is not. Someone recently said to me that God takes the good people because he needs his Angels with him to do other work. There is surely a beautiful Angel with him now.
Philadelphia, PA - Tuesday, September 2, 2003
What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful human being. As long as I live, I will never forget the short time I was privileged to work with Bruce Lazear. He lives on in the music he left us. Sing out, because I know he's listening... We love you, Bruce.
Brooklyn, NY - Monday, September 1, 2003
To Charlene, all of Bruce's family and close friends,
It's hard to contain the tears and the wrenching sorrow I personally feel from hearing of the loss of Bruce Lazear. This keyboard is currently being moistened by tears and the lump in my throat is the size of a small cantaloupe.
I worked with Bruce at T Juniors for a brief period and I was fortunate to get to know him very well. During that time, I was going through a personal crises and Bruce was with me, as if placed there for the purpose of getting me through it. He knew what I was feeling, knew what to say and he made me laugh at a time when I forgot about laughter. Through his positive attitude about life, I remembered who I was. I remembered that I loved music. I remembered how good life could be. There are few persons in this world, that I have met, that could make me smile by just thinking of them. I think of him very often.
I have never found it necessary to take "anti-depressants" but Bruce, was for me, "human" anti-depressant...a Xanex in the shape of a man. Just being with him, listening to him or even thinking about him was enough to make me smile. To remember who I am. To remember that there are so many things to be happy about.
After he left T Juniors, I spoke to him often. It seemed that whenever I was thinking of him, he knew it and on many occations, he called me within the hour or within a week. There was many times that I said to him, "Hey! you did it again, Unkle Bruce! I was just fuckin thinkin about you!" or if it was'nt the same day that he called..."Hey! Unkle Bruce! I thought about you 5 days ago, what took you so long!?" He would call me "Cousin Charles." I had not spoken to him in a while but for some reason, last Friday, I thought of him. I was expecting a call within the week.
Bruce said to me once, as I'm sure he has said to all of those close to him at one time or another, something that has stuck with me. With regard to life... "this is not a dress rehearsal. Be happy now and live your life like you're on the stage and it's showtime!"
In the short time I knew him, he has given me so much. I feel very lucky to have known him. And those who were very close to him, are the luckiest.
NY, NY - Sunday, August 31, 2003
I had the pleasure of first meeting Bruce when I worked PR the gang during their Flatlanders days. I was new to the industry and theirs was the first official "bio" I'd ever written. In the interviews, Bruce told me a story about how he stole a car (his dad's I think?) and drove a zillion hours to play at a Jimi Hendrix concert. No, not in the "I'm with the band" sense......Bruce was content to bring his guitar, watch Jimi from afar, and play with him from the audience. "Jimmy didn't know I was coming, and he didn't care...," he recounted with a big smile. I was nervous as he looked over the finished bio: "It reads like a good review...I love it," he said, trademark smile in place.
Bruce, that's how I'll remember you: smiling, guitar in hand, at Countdown Studios, into the music with your eyes closed as you play. Music will miss you - the notes are different already.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
i just received the forwarded e-mail about Bruce from Stefanie. I am so sorry; Bruce was very cool. he opened his home to me and made me feel welcome. i hope that you are okay. it's hard to lose people especially good people and Bruce was a very good man. please accept my condolences and pass them on to his family.
be safe and find peace,
Thursday, August 28, 2003