By Fred Mills
Sad news for garage, pop, and psych fans everywhere arrived yesterday with the news of the passing of Detroit garage/psych legends Outrageous Cherry’s guitarist, Larry Ray. The cause of death was listed as lung cancer; he was 63. The band posted a memorial to Ray at their Facebook page:
It is with heavy hearts that we share this news.
LARRY RAY PIEKUTOWSKI (1954-2017)
Larry Ray passed away October 24, 2017 after a short battle with lung cancer. Larry was the lead guitarist in Outrageous Cherry since the band’s inception in 1991, which occurred after Larry showed up at Matthew’s house one day to sell him a couple of NEU! albums. A spontaneous acoustic jam that day led to a 25-year musical partnership, at least 12 albums, and a lot of memorable gigs.
Before that he played in the Ivories, and also in the final incarnation of the Spike Drivers with Ted Lucas.
Larry was a mysterious guy, who would typically provide elliptical answers to the most straightforward questions, as if he were reading from a 40’s film noir script. He had a seemingly limitless knowledge of all kinds of music, and a highly individual guitar style: left-handed, never playing the same thing twice, always coming up with something new. And he was a really nice guy.
Larry was one of a kind, and we miss him already.
The most recent Outrageous Cherry album was 2014’s The Digital Age, and more recently, recent single “I Believe in Sunshine” b/w “Places” was released by Burger Records this year as a limited edition (200 copies) 7″ single. Ray’s tenure with the band stretches back across nearly dozen classic albums, to when O.C. founder Matthew Smith put together a touring Outrageous Cherry ensemble (he’d originally envisioned the band as a solo project).
On a personal note, I consider myself fortunate to have met Ray on a couple occasions at O.C. gigs and he was a personable, funny, and, yes, “mysterious” guy. BLURT would like to extend our condolences to Ray’s family and friends and of course the extended Outrageous Cherry family.
Below, check out some choice O.C.