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Musician murdered in guitar shop robbery

Down in the valley

Singer/guitarist Larry Robinson, who once played in the “summer of love” band Things to Come, was a roadie for Canned Heat, and was known to many for his open mics in Fallbrook and Temecula, was brutally beaten Friday night, March 22, while working at a music store in Temecula where he sold gear and gave guitar lessons.

“He was attacked 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.”

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/2013/apr/02/42967/

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.”

Robinson was taken to a hospital in Wildomar where he was listed in critical condition. He died Saturday morning.

Surowski believes the thief/murderer may have been a musician. In addition to the money in the cash register, he says a “highly traceable” Gibson Les Paul with a red-wine finish was taken. “We want to put out a kind of Amber Alert for the guitar to find the guy. The serial number is 01042519.”

Surowski says several guitar strings were also taken, “and possibly one or two bass guitars...we’re not sure yet. A lot of our customers did see suspicious activity inside and outside the store.”

“He was the sweetest man in the world,” recalls local musician Tony Suraci. “He has been in this valley for 20, 25 years.”

Press reports say that Robinson has appeared on six albums, including three solo CDs and three CDs with his Americana band the Dorados. Robinson once said that his band Things to Come had played with the Byrds at the Whiskey A Go Go in 1967.

“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.”

The soft-spoken, mild-mannered Robinson, 64, may have been seen as a vulnerable target. He was afflicted with spina bifida, and some of his neck vertebrae were fused, which impaired his ability to turn his head. Two nights before his attack, Robinson appeared at the Valley Fort Steak House near his home in Fallbrook. “He had just started this open mic series at the Valley Fort,” says bassist Paul Beach, who was Robinson’s neighbor and who accompanied Robinson on the last show he ever played. “He asked me if I would play bass where needed. I gladly did it. I just can’t even believe this was the last time that I would ever play onstage with him, much less ever see him again.”

Beach started playing with Robinson 30 years ago. “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.”

“This is just a sick commentary on some members of our society,” says Surowski. “He had four adult children (including his son Evan who he sometimes performed with). “He also had one new grandchild. He was just about to go into the studio and start recording his next solo album.”

An estimated 500 people showed up for a candle-light vigil Sunday night, March 24, at Pete’s Music. The U-T reported that Robinson’s wife Patricia did not attend, but Surowski said she was there but preferred to keep a low profile. At press time there were no announced suspects. Anyone with info please call 951-955-2777.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0P6vkyAMnQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDmeImPs5XI

In this video, Robinson and Beach play their last show. “I also remember it as the last song of the night,” says Beach.

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Singer/guitarist Larry Robinson, who once played in the “summer of love” band Things to Come, was a roadie for Canned Heat, and was known to many for his open mics in Fallbrook and Temecula, was brutally beaten Friday night, March 22, while working at a music store in Temecula where he sold gear and gave guitar lessons.

“He was attacked 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.”

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/2013/apr/02/42967/

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.”

Robinson was taken to a hospital in Wildomar where he was listed in critical condition. He died Saturday morning.

Surowski believes the thief/murderer may have been a musician. In addition to the money in the cash register, he says a “highly traceable” Gibson Les Paul with a red-wine finish was taken. “We want to put out a kind of Amber Alert for the guitar to find the guy. The serial number is 01042519.”

Surowski says several guitar strings were also taken, “and possibly one or two bass guitars...we’re not sure yet. A lot of our customers did see suspicious activity inside and outside the store.”

“He was the sweetest man in the world,” recalls local musician Tony Suraci. “He has been in this valley for 20, 25 years.”

Press reports say that Robinson has appeared on six albums, including three solo CDs and three CDs with his Americana band the Dorados. Robinson once said that his band Things to Come had played with the Byrds at the Whiskey A Go Go in 1967.

“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.”

The soft-spoken, mild-mannered Robinson, 64, may have been seen as a vulnerable target. He was afflicted with spina bifida, and some of his neck vertebrae were fused, which impaired his ability to turn his head. Two nights before his attack, Robinson appeared at the Valley Fort Steak House near his home in Fallbrook. “He had just started this open mic series at the Valley Fort,” says bassist Paul Beach, who was Robinson’s neighbor and who accompanied Robinson on the last show he ever played. “He asked me if I would play bass where needed. I gladly did it. I just can’t even believe this was the last time that I would ever play onstage with him, much less ever see him again.”

Beach started playing with Robinson 30 years ago. “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.”

“This is just a sick commentary on some members of our society,” says Surowski. “He had four adult children (including his son Evan who he sometimes performed with). “He also had one new grandchild. He was just about to go into the studio and start recording his next solo album.”

An estimated 500 people showed up for a candle-light vigil Sunday night, March 24, at Pete’s Music. The U-T reported that Robinson’s wife Patricia did not attend, but Surowski said she was there but preferred to keep a low profile. At press time there were no announced suspects. Anyone with info please call 951-955-2777.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0P6vkyAMnQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDmeImPs5XI

In this video, Robinson and Beach play their last show. “I also remember it as the last song of the night,” says Beach.

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