Singer/guitarist Larry Robinson once played in the “summer of love” band Things to Come (who once opened for the Byrds at the Whiskey A Go Go on August 26 and 27, 1967). Based in Long Beach (where Robinson is from), the acid-punk group featuring Russ Kunkel (drums) and Bryan Garafolo (bass) served as house band at a psychedelic club called the Marina Palace in Seal Beach.
Robinson was also a roadie for Canned Heat and appeared on several albums, including three solo CDs and three CDs with his Americana band the Dorados.
“When I lived in Fallbrook I kept hearing about these guys called the Dorados who always played at the Packing House [in Fallbrook],” says Connie Nelson, Willie Nelson's ex-wife who now lives in Austin. “I used to see them all the time at the Packing House. I used to do what I could to help them. I know Willie used to listen to the Dorados CD on the bus.”
Bassist Paul Beach started playing with Robinson in the early 1980s. “I moved to Fallbrook from Riverside in 1983. I was on the road a lot back then, touring with Gary Puckett. I heard there was an open mic in Fallbrook hosted by Larry. I had so much fun. I was hooked.”
Robinson became known to many for his open mics in Fallbrook and Temecula, as well as working and giving guitar lessons at Pete's Music and Guitar Shop in Temecula. Robinson was killed while working at the shop in March 2013, in what police at first suspected was a robbery.
“He was attacked sometime around 6:05 because that's when I started calling him and got no answer,” says Pete Surowski, namesake/owner of Pete's Music and Guitar Shop. Surowski says that after many attempts to reach Robinson, he called the sheriff’s department. “They were already on the scene. He was actually discovered by a customer.”
Surowski says Robinson was bound and gagged and severely beaten. “He had severe head trauma. And they kicked him so hard, his spine was severed.”
Over a year later, no suspects had been identified or arrested.