Obituaries, July 27, 2023
Terry (Terrence Michael) Juric, bassist in the rock band Moxy, died on July 18 at age 70. No cause of death has been reported.
By Kerry Doole
Terry (Terrence Michael) Juric, bassist in the rock band Moxy, died on July 18 at age 70. No cause of death has been reported.
His official obituary stated that "Music was an important focus in Terry’s life. He made many friends along the way during his career and time with his bands including Moxy. Although he played rock music as a bass player, Terry most enjoyed jazz."
Moxy formed in Toronto in 1973 from previous members of the rock group Leigh Ashford, including Buzz Shearman, Greg Godovitz of Fludd and Goddo, and Gil Moore (later of Triumph), and Juric joined the band early on. Moxy signed with Polydor Records of Canada in December 1974. They toured Canada before having a hit in late 1975 with Can't You See I'm A Star, and Moxy then toured the US on the strength of their radio airplay.
A self-titled debut came out in 1975, followed by Moxy II a year later, and Moxy reached concert headliner status in Canada. Some cuts charted on rock radio, and the third album Ridin' High was released in 1977. It earned Moxy a Juno Award nomination for most promising group of the year.
Shearman then left and was replaced by Mike Reno (Loverboy) for the 1978 album Under The Lights before returning to the band in late 1979. During this period, Terry Juric appeared on Thor's 1978 album Keep The Dogs Away and then on pop-rocker Stanley Frank's 1980 album Play It Til It Hurts. He also earned a credit as a bassist featured on the 1989 collection TheUltimate: The Best of Tommy Bolin.
Veteran concert promoter Lou Molinaro paid tribute to Juric in this Facebook post: "I grew up in Oshawa. As a kid, Moxy was world-class in my city. I believe most of them lived in the area. Posters of their albums were on the walls of record stores, and the buzz on the street was that Moxy was playing BIG concerts in the US, especially in Texas. AC/DC even opened up for them. So, these guys ruled the Shwa. A few years later when I was in my early teens, I recognized our postman but couldn't figure out from where. It wasn't till a little later while using my teenage detective abilities that I learned that Terry Juric, Moxy's bassist, was our letter carrier! I was in awe of this! Honestly! To me as a young impressionable kid, this was my first legit "WHOA! Rock star moment". I finally had the courage to ask him if he was in Moxy and he confirmed that he was. Case closed. Anyway, thank you for your music, for being a super cool Postie and for giving me my first stellar rock star moment. I LOVE those Moxy albums!"
Another Oshawa-based rock 'n roller, Rob Sweeney, posted this on Facebook: "I was saddened by the news that Terry Juric has passed away. I met Terry years ago when he had become a postie in Oshawa. He would come to our practices when we had the band The Other Guys & even sold his Sunn bass head complete with the red MOXY road case to our bass player Roger. That bass head was used at all our Durango 95 & "Purple Toads gigs. It was always a chuckle to load in at a gig with the MOXY road case. RIP Terry...Oshawa will remember your thunder."
A funeral service was held in Oshawa on July 24. Donations in memory of Juric can be made to the charity of your choice.
Sources: Armstrong Funeral Home, Wikipedia
Mark LaForme, a country, rock and blues singer/songwriter from Ontario, died on July 19 at age 69. No cause of death has been given.
Larry Delaney of Cancountry reports that "LaForme worked the Ontario music scene for many years including an early career stint as a member of the Steel City Slickers. In 1998-99 and again in 2011, he toured nationally in support of the legendary Stompin' Tom Connors. He worked closely with the late Randall Cousins of the Hamilton-based Roto-Noto Records label on recording projects for Jack Diamond, Diane Raeside, Grant Tingey, Lisa Logan, and more."
.LaForme recorded several albums, including Mark LaForme, No Frills and True To Form, and released numerous singles, charting nationally with the 1985 single Here Comes Trouble and the 1988-91 singles Long Gone, The Road I Walk, and Makin' It Easy. He co-wrote the song Git Along Little Doggies with Dallas Harms, recorded by Nashville star Gene Watson.
His song Nashville Dream was a Canadian country hit, and his album Vintage was nominated at the 2006 Hamilton Music Awards. A subsequent Best Of album collected songs from 1974-2006 collection of songs.
Peers and colleagues paid tribute on social media. Indigenous music luminary Elaine Bomberry posted on Facebook that "the legendary Mark Laforme was a true inspiration to Six Nations & New Credit musicians & beyond. A totally cool musician who was so giving and generous to everyone. Rest in Paradise Mark."
Derek Miller· posted that "I call Mark The Rattler. Another musical guiding light, he was on the charts in the 1980s and was Stompin' Tom’s musical director. Always so supportive and a pillar to the music community here in Six Nations and New Credit; sad to hear the news he is gone."
Sources: Cancountry, Atlantic Seabreeze, Facebook
John Marlatt, a musician and co-owner of popular Oakville music venue Moonshine Cafe, Oakville, died on July 24. On the club's Facebook page, his wife Jane posted this: "As some of you know by now, we lost our fearless leader in the wee hours this morning. My beloved husband, John Marlatt, passed away during an emergency surgery to remove a large aneurism found in his stomach.
"John was a larger-than-life character with an extremely quick wit that kept our Moonshine patrons constantly entertained. I want to thank all of you for reaching out to me with your kind words and love. I am overwhelmed with pride at how respected and loved my Johnny was. He will be missed dearly and daily by everyone who knew him. The Moonshine will never be the same without our Johnny Boy."
Marlatt was also a songwriter and musician. His Reverbnation page states that "he's a songwriter in the old country style, plays rhythm guitar and sing lead vocals." Listen to some of his material here.
The Marlatts opened The Moonshine Cafe in 2006, and the intimate venue (capacity 70) soon became a much-loved destination not just for area music fans but for artists from across Canada. When the club faced hard times during the pandemic, a GoFundMe campaign to help keep the lights on was very well-supported. In a 2020 feature story, The Oakville News wrote that "the Moonshine Cafe is the most intimate arts venue in all Oakville. Over the years it’s been the debut venue for hundreds of Oakville musicians, youth and young musicians. It has also hosted shows by big-name talents like The Kings, The Sheepdogs, JP Cormier, Kevin Breit, and others. When it comes to local live music, the Moonshine Cafe is a truly special place. It’s a local community hub that regularly hosts live, local Oakville artists 7 nights a week."
Artists who loved playing The Moonshine Cafe have paid tribute to Marlatt on Facebook, and some of their comments are collected here.
Kevin Breit: "John Marlatt and his Moonshine Cafe was a musician's best friend. So many artists passed through those doors on Kerr Street in Oakville. John and his beautiful Jane made the atmosphere as close to a home feel as anyone could. Between sets, there was a mixed playlist of mostly independent Canadian performers. We (Sisters Euclid) are filled with gratitude to John, not only for his support over the years but he kindly released a live recording from the Moonshine Cafe for his Moonshine Record Label. What a good, solid person. The best friend we ever had. We love you, John!!!!"
Stephen Fearing· "I only played The Moonshine a few times but experienced the same welcome and was made to feel special and honoured. Sad to hear this news and to pass it along to those who knew John. Thanks, John Marlatt for loving music and musicians so much."
Alfie Smith: "I owe John Marlatt so much. From the piano my kids learn on that he was getting rid of to make more rooms for more seats at the Moonshine, to hundreds of gigs over the years with some of my musical heroes and friends. John and Jane made my life and hundreds of other musicians and thousands of patrons' lives a little bit better (except the rude ones he kicked out). I wish I could have told you how much you meant to me in person."
Samantha Martin: "I met John Marlatt in May 2012. Alfie Smith brought me to The Moonshine Cafe to be a special guest on his show. I immediately felt at home thanks to John & Jane and their unparalleled hospitality. They are community builders. I loved John’s realness, he had just the right balance of salty and sweet to make you laugh and tell ya how it is. I have brought my band (The Haggard and then Delta Sugar) to play a good handful of times over the years, and I have sent many touring musicians to Oakville when they asked me where the great venues are.
"I am really sad to hear of John's passing. It’s a big loss for anyone who knew him. He was one of a kind. I hope he rests easy and that Jane & his family know how much the music community appreciates John, the laughs, the sacrifices and the late nights, and how much we will miss him."
Greg Brisco: "So sad to hear of John Marlatt's passing. He was a visionary and so incredibly supportive of musicians. He is a loss to all who perform and those that watch the performances. The Moonshine was and is a special place because of him. Damn. So many good memories because of him."
Steve Poltz: "There are places you play along the way. Venues upon venues. I’ve been on the old folk highway now for many many years. I’d say about 35 or 40 years of hardcore troubadour - ing. The only reason I mention this is because I meet a lot of club owners and promoters and whatnot. So when I say that John Marlatt was a wonderful venue owner I mean he was a towering figure. He owned a small but mighty club in Oakville, Ontario, called The Moonshine Cafe.
"Well, I just got the terrible news that this legend has passed away. A total shocker. Ugh. Say it ain’t so. He’d always welcome you with a smile and help you get settled in. He’d make you a cup of tea AND do your soundcheck AND regale you with tales of previous shows. I’ve played here so many times that I’ve lost count. He always made me feel so welcome. I loved him. He and Jane were such a beautiful couple. My heart goes out to her and their beautiful son James.
"John was generous, kind, warm, loyal, hardworking and very patient. Always a tireless supporter of national, international and local acts. He’d welcome everyone with open arms. He’d be so excited if we sold out a show. We’d both be excited! I can’t believe he’s gone. Just like that. John Marlatt was one of a kind. I’m gonna miss that smile, warm embrace and that aww shucks humility. You were the best. I’m glad to call you my friend. I won’t forget you. Thanks for the memories."
Kirsten Jones: "I was at a rehearsal today for a John Prine tribute that was to happen at the Moonshine Cafe when I heard about the passing of John Marlatt. I don’t think anyone ever made me feel more comfortable and welcome in a venue. Judging by all the posts I’ve been reading, I think he must have made a lot of people feel that way. He and Jane MacKay created a nurturing and loving environment for so many of us, regardless of where we were in our careers. He was generous and supportive, and I’m going to miss him."
Corin Raymond: "The Small Time lost one of its princes. It seems inaccurate that John Marlatt could be gone. Ambassador, impresario, beacon, and an oasis to music. Music was safe at the Moonshine. In Oakville, of all the damn places. (Tom Waits, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, said, “We all love music, but we really want music to love us.” Music loved John Marlatt, and so did the community. he brought together, gave a home to, and cared for. What a special man. I’m sorry that I won’t see him again. The Moonshine and what that place has meant will never die. It’s one of those bars (there aren’t many) the lights of which are part of my night sky. Love to Jane, family and friends. Thank you both, and thank you, John.
Condolences can be made at koprivataylor.com/john-marlatt. Further information regarding the celebration of life will be available later.
Sources: Oakville News, Facebook
Al (Alistair James) Miller, a highly-regarded Toronto musician and sound engineer, died on July 19, at age 63, of heart disease.
An official obituary reads as follows: "Musician, Sound Engineer, just all around great guy, Al had the ear of the room and knew how to make you hear the music whether he was playing it or mixing it. Al’s sound installations entertained generations at Toronto-area venues like the Rivoli, El Mocambo, the Dakota, and the Hayloft. He toured Canada from coast to coast and cared for every musician he ever trained or played with.
"He will be remembered for his work on many television productions from The Kids in the Hall to Canadian Idol to Big Brother; the bands he played in, The Hacks, Living Proof, JP Wasson Band and BFG. Al never gave up and always came through. It sure was an adventure. Rest, my love. I know you are at peace. Celebration of Life and Memorial Concert is being planned with details to follow in the coming months."
Toronto musician and sound engineer John Borra posted this eloquent tribute on Facebook: "Looking over Al Miller's shoulder says a lot about our relationship over the years. Aside from our friendship, Al was a real mentor to me. He taught me how to do live sound back at the old El Mocambo and was someone I could always turn to when I needed help or advice with anything audio related. We played together, toured together, vacationed together, and he recorded and co-produced the first two records with my JB Band. But most of all Al was my friend, and I will miss him dearly. RIP old pal."
Joel Wasson, rock musician and leader of The JP Wasson Band, on Facebook: "I loved the guy, besides playing together in a band for 20 years. He was a straight shooter, a genuine person and my friend. I’m sure others will fill you on on his legendary status as an amazing guitarist, skilled sound engineer, and one of those guys who should have been famous if he were not from Canada/Toronto. I’m just sad he’s gone. R.I.P."
On its FB page, See Spot Run posted (in part) this: "We in See Spot Run would like to humbly pay tribute to our long-time friend, occasional sound technician and resolute supporter of our band, Alistair Miller of Toronto. Al passed away in Peterborough on July 19 after a long and hard-fought struggle with heart disease. The Canadian music and television industry, and more specifically the Toronto chapters thereof, have lost a pillar of strength, reliability and competence that will be sorely missed. He was one of the best sound techs out there, always in the background, never drawing attention to himself. He was also a passionate guitar player, band member, indie record producer, singer and songwriter.
"If there was a single word to describe him, it would be ‘fierce’. He had limitless energy and approached everything in life with quiet ferocity…as a player, as technician, as a father, husband and life partner. He learned the technical ropes of the business from the ground up using only his wits and determination. He eventually landed plum sound and managerial gigs on television and touring North America with, among others, The Kids In The Hall. Bruce McCulloch of the Kids thought so highly of him he wrote a song for him aptly entitled Al Miller. Al was a rock and absolutely reliable, a rare talent indeed, yet glory was a thing he neither sought nor desired. Al helped us in so many ways over so many years, it’s difficult to quantify, yet he never asked for anything in return. Happy trails dear old friend."
Sources: Ross Funeral Chapel, Facebook
Tony Bennett (Anthony Dominick Benedetto), the master pop vocalist who had a professional career spanning eight decades with a No. 1 album at age 85, died on July. 21 He was 96. Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 but continued to perform and record through 2021.
Variety noted that "his peer Frank Sinatra called him the greatest popular singer in the world. His recordings – most of them made for Columbia Records, which signed him in 1950 – were characterized by ebullience, immense warmth, vocal clarity and emotional openness. A gifted and technically accomplished interpreter of the Great American Songbook, he may be best known for his signature 1962 hit I Left My Heart in San Francisco.
"He was equally at home in front of intimate combos (which often featured his pianist and longtime musical director Ralph Sharon) and lushly arranged orchestras. Though never strictly a jazz singer, he flourished in jazz settings and cut memorable sessions with Count Basie’s big band and the lyrical pianist Bill Evans.
"Active as a recording artist from 1949 and one of the top pop performers in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, Bennett saw his career surge anew in the ‘90s and again in the new millennium, under the management of his son Danny. He made headlines via collaborations with Amy Winehouse, Diana Krall and Lady Gaga. After gaining a young new audience with smartly booked TV appearances, his MTV Unplugged album of 1994 — released when Bennett was 67 — won a Grammy as album of the year. A pair of Duets albums in 2006 and 2011 enlisted new fans; the latter release reached the apex of the U.S. chart.
Winner of 18 Grammy Awards (with 36 total nominations), and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in 2001, Bennett also garnered two Emmy Awards. He was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005 and a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2006.
Sinead O'Connor, an acclaimed and chart-topping Dublin singer/songwriter, has died aged 56. In a statement released on July 26, the singer’s family said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”
A cause of death has not been reported. O’Connor is survived by her three children. Her son, Shane, died last year aged 17.
The Irish musician found worldwide fame with the hit single Nothing Compares 2 U in 1990. O'Connor released 10 studio albums, and her cover of the Prince song Nothing Compares 2 U was named the number one world single in 1990 by the Billboard Music Awards. Her version of the ballad topped the charts around the globe and earned her three Grammy nominations. In 1991, O’Connor was named Artist of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine on the back of the song’s success.
The Irish Times noted that "O'Connor drew controversy and divided opinion during her long career in music and time in public life. In 1992, she tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on the US television programme Saturday Night Live in an act of protest against sex abuse in the Catholic Church."
The year before that high-profile protest, she boycotted the Grammy Awards, the music industry’s answer to the Oscars, saying she did not want “to be part of a world that measures artistic ability by material success.”
In more recent years, O’Connor became better known for her spiritualism and activism and spoke publicly about her mental health struggles. In 2007, O’Connor told Oprah Winfrey that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder four years previously and that before her diagnosis she had struggled with thoughts of suicide and overwhelming fear.
The singer converted to Islam in 2018 and changed her name to Shuhada Sadaqat, though continued to perform under the name Sinéad O’Connor. In 2021, she released a memoir Rememberings, while last year a film on her life was directed by Kathryn Ferguson.