[Photo by Bruce Aydelotte

Above is a picture of John Lettiere, whose passing I wrote about in the previous post on this site.

It makes me smile, mainly because of the intent look on John’s face — which usually meant he was about to say something outrageous or funny or wise, and often all three at once.

To a friend from the old Dylan newsgroup where I first encountered John I wrote:

John was a quintessentially American type — a gentleman and a scholar
who looked and behaved and talked like a common longshoreman.  No other
nation on earth could have produced a man like him — a kind of
Whitmanesque ideal.

John was laid to rest earlier today.  Peter Stone Brown read some words over him and sang “I Shall Be Released”.  In life, John would have said, “Fuck that shit,” but I suspect he would have been touched as well.

John was a big Dylan fan but he hated Dylan’s Christmas album and thought that those of us who loved it had taken leave of our senses.  It occurs to me that I’m never going to be able to listen to it again without hearing John’s voice in the back of my mind — “You’ve gotta fucking be kidding me!”  That will be part of Christmas for me, too.


  1. Lloyd:
    Thanks for the picture. Pure John L.
    The memorial, a true celebration of John's life, was no cookie cutter deal. Peter read both your original blog and his own original tribute—UNEDITED AND UNCENSORED!!! 😉 John's oldest nephew Anthony delivered a tribute which highlighted John's passion for life. Peter returned to sing a very poignant “I Shall Be Released”.
    I have to say the service was unique and truly an honest portrait of a very unique and honest individual.
    My main thought driving from Long Island to Westchester yesterday was that John was one of those few people you meet in life who is impossible to think of in the past tense. I could hear his voice throughout the entire day.
    FUCK, John, we'll never see another like ye.
    Rest in peace, old friend.
    Paul Pearson

  2. Paul, thanks so much for this report of John's memorial service. I wish I could have been there, and I'm glad you were, since I feel you were sort of representing those of us in the old New York gang who couldn't be. The world is certainly a lot less interesting without John in it.

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