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A Virtual Memorial:
Shawn Lane Virtual MemorialIt is now the end of 2007, and I still cannot bring myself to change a single thing..... not a single thing here. Because he was so..... beyond us.... I can't change a thing. He was so much a part of us here in life, and has become so much a part of us spiritually in his ascention. I have to leave it all as it was, as it would have been. No matter how far away his passing gets, I will never, ever, ever change Shawn is to Shawn was.... because he still is..... as I said both then and now...... he is
Shawn Lane Memorial Concert
This was a page that became very difficult to write as Shawn was a very close friend of ours. When we first started this page Shawn was very much so alive and happy. In fact Shawn was the only reason why we put up our website as he always asked about our old personal site we had a few years ago, unfortunately Shawn never got to see this site. It has been over a year now since Shawn left us and we miss him terribly. We have decided to leave this page just the way we left it last on October 1st, 2003.
In Memory of
On September 26, 2003 we lost the greatest guitar player who ever lived. Shawn passed away from us in a hospital in Memphis, TN. He was 40 years old. In the coming days and possibly weeks we will try to bring ourselves to say a few things about Shawn, and the impact of his passing on us. For now, we need to take a step back, as the gravity of this loss pulls us into mourning. We are not, for now, equipt to change "Shawn Lane is" into "Shawn Lane was."
On September 30, 2003 Jimmy and I attended Shawn Lane's wake. It had been a hard few days leading up to it, and needless to say when I got there I was really reluctant to go see him. Everyone was reluctant to go see him. But after you get hit upside the head with the reality that he is gone, there is this overwhelming calm that takes you over. At one point Jimmy and I found ourselves standing there alone, looking at Shawn. Everything faded away from me, all I could see was his face. I found myself wandering to horror movies and comedy routines where someone in a coffin would come back to life, I imagined him blinking, raising his head to talk to me, looking over at me, somewhere deep within I desperately wished those hoaky routines would find their way to reality, just this once. Slowly, there with Shawn, I let it sink in that he was gone from here. And I'm ok with that, I have no choice but to be ok with that. Because eventually everything faded away while I was standing there, and it was just me and Shawn, and I honestly looked at him, I mean really honestly looked at him without letting my emotions color what I saw, it was there that for the first time since I heard the news that I found some deep and lasting comfort. Shawn is at peace. It is something I needed to see for myself. He's gone, his body was, for me, painfully empty, but he is at peace, I promise.
I would like to take this opportunity to talk about Shawn's family for a minute. When Jimmy and I were unable to cope, it was his family who came to us and said everything will be ok. It was Shawn's family that comforted all the broken hearts. With their trademark strength, they were there for the rest of us to lean on in moments of weakness. They have always been so supportive of Shawn, always gave him their best, and were always willing to take charge to make sure Shawn got what he needed. This could not have been more obvious than when you walked in to see Shawn. There he was, laying there peacefully in the softly lit room, music quietly drifted into your presence, as if music itself were in mourning. At his feet stood his guitar. And standing next to him, his beloved Mamaw, an awe inspiring pillar of strength and will, smiling warmly, consoling everyone who came to say goodbye. "He's ready to play," she told us. For the last few days all of us had been thinking, if they put a tie on him I'll take it off myself. We should have had faith in the love and honor his family had for him. From his favorite hat, to his shades in his hand, and I'm willing to bet that he was wearing sandals, if he was wearing shoes at all. For good measure Jimmy gave him one of my Jazz III's, they were his favorite. He was like Shawn always was, and that helped the healing process immensly. The room was as peaceful as Shawn himself, as if he were standing at the door, asking you to witness what was always in the depth of his heart, to be with him one more time before he had to go.
We love you Shawn.
Krystel and I actually left the wake feeling better about things I was reassured that everything was going to be ok. I felt that Shawn found his peace wherever that may be, he found it. The next day before the funeral we were in the hallway at Memorial Park talking to Mick, Joris, and Souvnik. It was interesting exchanging Shawn stories and figuring out what next. The funeral was I think exactly how Shawn would have wanted it, other than Shawn really hated to see people hurt. Shawn was such a sweet person who would have literally given you the shirt off his back if he thought you were cold. It was really sad as they started with ICH RUF ZU DIR HERR JESU by J.S Bach on Pipe organ.Then a few of Shawns relatavies came up and spoke. His mom had mentioned how at the age of four Shawn asked her what infinity was and that he had set a few guitars on fire in his days. After they spoke for a little while Joris came up and played the most beautiful piano piece I have ever heard, I forget who the composer was but it was so fitting of Shawn. Then they played epilouge for Lisa but this time it was for Shawn. After the family spoke some of his friends came up and really it was an open forum for people to come up and talk, Shawn really would have wanted it that way as that is how he always conducted himself in any situation. Shawn loved conversation. It started with Darrel. Darrel was the Drummer in Shawns first band Typhoid. He was Shawns best friend up until Shawn went on the road with B.O.A. Then Mick came up and vowed to do everything in his power to keep Shawns music alive. Jim Dandy and Andy came up and spoke from B.O.A. Andy had the crowd stand up and give Shawn his well deserved last standing ovation. A member of the Willeys came up and spoke. Many people came up by the time it was said and done, but when the funeral was over of course people were paying their last respects, and I knew it was the last time I would never seen my dear friend again. So although I left the wake feeling better, I left the funeral feeling much worse. I miss Shawn so much he was a really good friend to have. Shawn was in an extreme amount of Pain and couldnt get the proper healthcare he needed so I have to belive he is not suffering anymore and he is in a better place. His music and legacy will live on forever.
Goodbye, Shawn. We miss you terribly.
Jimmy: Shawn is a very good friend of mine, we have been friends for quite a few years. Shawn is a very gentle person. He is a very funny person. He is wide versed in his knowledge. He loves animals, books, science, religion, and movies. One of his favorite places to go is a local library. You will not find Shawn in a place like a hardware store or a Walmart. You may see him in a museum somewhere in Vienna, or in a whole in the wall vietnamese restraunt in Northern Cleveland.Shawn also really loves Art. He is quite the historian with not only classical music but music in general. He has a massive CD and tape collection and really likes all forms of music. He does not play video games, as I just had to ask him one day, because I mean come on those fingers move so fast, I would hate to play the guy in Street Fighter or something. Shawn is mysterious in the fact that you never know when he will take stage and how long he will play for. On a good night it may be four or five in the morning when he stops playing. He is also one of the most humble musicians I have ever known, which could take some people by suprise considering what kind of player he is. You will never run out of topics for conversation with Shawn he loves to talk about anything. He loves his family and fans dearly. In his immediate family he has a daughter, two sisters, his mother and his grandmother. He has a very unique cult following for a fan base all across the world. You can not listen to Shawn Lane without bieng completely blown away with by his skills as a musician. Of course in a town like Memphis where blues, hick and rap are prevalent Shawn is way underappreciated, but that's there fault because If Elvis is the King of Rock and Roll, and BB is the King of Blues, than long live The King of Shred Shawn Lane. Shawn is the real Jack Butler, the movie crossroads at the end has erie similarities to Shawn, considering Jack Butler was from Memphis and all. So here we have this guy playing in some small place here, you think oh another band, until that amp gets turned on, everybody gets their head cut when they listen to Shawn. The few that have dared play with him are lucky to be alive, it takes some guts to play with Shawn.
Krystel: Shawn has done so much for me. He has really added a new perspective to my music. I mean, really, the man is just fast. And free. Very, very free. Unhindered. Without bounds. Oblivious to limitation. Well, most of the time, or rather mostly about time...... in every aspect..... but especially live.... I really love to listen to Shawn though. Nothing is quite like him live. His tone just grabs you and refuses to let you go. I think, out of all the ways that Shawn has influenced my music, his tone has had the most affect on me. I wasn't really passionate about creating a living, breathing tone until I started listening to him live. It's really inspiring. I mean, we gave the man a tiny little amplifier in a cigarette pack and he still made it sound like his tone. He can play through anything and make it sound good. I mean anything. He'll just grab an amp and a distortion pedal, multifx processor, flip a couple switches and just be Shawn. I pick up an amp and a pedal and I'm just horrible.... Aside from his amazing tone, I like his approach. He really doesn't limit himself. He'll do anything with music at all. Literally, anything. Some of it I can't say I like, but I respect that he so doesn't give a damn that he just plays anything at all. When he actually plays chords, which isn't quite as often as a lot of people, they are well constructed. You can tell where he gets influence from (maily E.J. and Holdsworth.) Shawn on a personal level is incredibly funny. A lot of people don't get it, and sometimes I think Shawn is being serious, but he is just really really funny. And interesting. Talk about a tangent. The man can go off. It's great. Inspiring. (You wouldn't know it by not being close to me, but when you get to know me I never, ever shut up...) I take a lot of influence from how he can start a conversation about the color of a door and end up on a houseboat in the orient eat three day old rice while reminicing about an old lady that hit him over the head while he was crying over a painting in Greece. I mean, the man is crazy.... in a what an interesting and inspiring person sort of way.
Who is Shawn Lane?Shawn Lane was born March 21, 1963 in Memphis Tn. He has played music since the age of 4. At the age of 8 his grandmother gave him his first guitar. He shortly thereafter started playing live. Shawn being the little pyro maniac he is recalls setting off flash paper while playing at the Jewish Center when he was 11 or 12, he recalls catching the headstock of his guitar on fire during this proccess. When Shawn was 14 he got a job playing with Black Oak Arkansas. During this time he was heavely influenced by the keyboard player who was also a classical pianist. Shawn would go to the library and get classical records and was really into classical music. He tells of when they were touring he use to drive Jim Dandy crazy playing classical records in the tour bus. Shawn got to play with all kinds of big names during this time. Jim Dandy talks of a time that Ted Nugent made him mad so he got Shawn up there. Now here is Ted Nugent Mr huge ego himself, and this kid walks up there and makes him look like a moron on stage.
Shawn left Black Oak and pretty much lived a life of practice and study. He played with various people during the 80's and even taught lessons to a few people during that time. In the mid and late 80's he had a band called the Willeys. People were filming his shows with the Willeys and these boot leg tapes made their way all over the world. For a while boot leg Shawn Lane tapes where being traded on campus of GIT like Real Books are amongst jazz students. I have heard numerous stories of Shawn just shredding people right and left. One of which, a very drunk Joe Walsh, Joe was ticked off that Shawn played his part of Hotel California better than he did. Shawn played on the highwaymen 2 record in Nashville in 89, and later got a Warner Bros deal. He recorded Powers of Ten in Nashville playing all instruments himself, it truely was a turning point for advanced music. He truly is a multiple instrumentalist not just a fast guitar player. When Shawn plays drums he approaches it like ok I am now the drummer, same with keyboard or bass or any other instruments. That part skips allot of guitar players who sound like a guitar player playing drums. Shawn also recorded two instructional videos during this time that are still available. Shawn was also best guitarist of the years in Guitar player magazine, and runner up in keyboard player magazine in 92. The funny thing is I have heard he was not even on the ballad for the keybaord player magazine, it was strictly write in votes. During this time Shawn was endorsed by Ibanez, at one of the Namm shows all the Ibanez Shredders where invited to participate in this Jam. You had Steve Vai, Joe Satrianni, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, and really everybody that was a whos who in the shred community. So these guys were doing there whidally diddaly doos, then Shawn steps up to the plate to do his solo. This is when everyone else was so humbled they stopped playing. In fact Vai jumped down and grabbed somebodys video camera, goes back on stage just so that he could film this monster perform. Somewhere there is a video of this floating around. (It wasn'y Billy Sheehan, but Vai, Satch, Gilbert, Timmons, and a few others were there, we have this video now and play it in our lobby frequently.)
In 94 he started playing with Jonas Helborg. They have this click, it is just pure improv, just pure raw music that is just mind boggling. In 95 they started playing with Drummer Jeff Sipe (Left Over Salmon, Aquarium Rescue Unit). SO you had these three musicians up there probably the best guitarist, drummer, and bassist in the world all up there together. When they recorded Temporal Analouges of Paradise they were live in China with this TV audience of Millions of people. So here they are recording live making the whole thing up as they went along and this album is slowly progressing up so by the end of the 2nd movement you just have this incredibly fast music that would humble anyone. They did a number of gigs over the next couple of years all over the world. Most of the recordings with Helborg, Sipe, Lane where done live. Shawn and Jonas later started playing with V. Selvaganesh on percussion. They have recorded both Good People in the Times of Evil and also Icon. Shawn also released 2 solo albums Tritone fascination and Powers of Ten Live. He is still playing with Jonas and doing sessions in Memphis.
DiscographyOrdering information will follow in the Links section.
He did sooooo much stuff, so this is very abridged, things that we have that we love. Just look around the internet, you'll find all kinds of different performances that have been released.
Powers of Ten
Powers of Ten Live
The Tritone Fascination
With Jonas Hellborg and Jeff Sipe
Temporal Analogues of Paradise
Time is the Enemy
With Jonas Hellborg and V. Selvaganesh
Good People in Times of Evil
With Jonas Hellborg, V. Selvaganesh, V. Umamahesh and V. Umashankar
With Jonas Hellborg and Kofi Baker
With Michael Shrieve and Jonas Hellborg
Shawn LinksThe Official Shawn Lane Site - Official Shawn Lane site maintained by Shawn's Mom and other family members.
Mitzi's Shawn Lane Site - Another Official Shawn site maintained by Shawn's sister Mitzi
Shawn Lane Fan Site - Tarsun.net, very cool site, and very cool guy! If you have any Shawn info he doesn't have, pass it on!!