Ray Collins (1937-2012)

The Claremont fixture and Pomona native was 75. In 1964 Collins invited Frank Zappa to join his Pomona R&B band, the Soul Giants, which became the Mothers of Invention, a ground-breaking avant-garde rock band.

I wrote his obituary today and my Friday column fleshes out the story. Collins was press-shy, but he granted me an interview in 2009 for a column. If you met him, knew him or otherwise wish to comment, please do. (Photo by Peter Barwick outside Claremont’s Pizza N Such from the Ray Collins Fan Page.)

* Obituaries have appeared in the New York Times and Rolling Stone.

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  • DebB

    You know, I read a story like your column (or obit) about Ray Collins, and I think, “Wow, what a great old guy – sitting on a bench, chatting with whoever comes by – this is what gives a town character.” But in reality, if I walked by and saw an old man looking like that sitting on a bench, I’d dismiss him as a derelict and keep moving. And miss out on a bit of history. Sad…

    • davidallen909

      I know what you mean, but I suppose that’s a reminder to keep an open mind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/devans1701 Doug Evans

    Maybe you’ve seen this… or maybe not?… but the Times had an obit for Ray Collins today in which they quote from your 2009 interview. The Daily Bulletin is credited, but not you specifically, but maybe that’s how it works in the newspaper world? Here’s the link in case you missed it! http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-ray-collins-20130102,0,3447047.story

    • davidallen909

      That tends to be how it works, yes. But I’m honored to have had my work quoted in the NYT, LAT, Rolling Stone, etc., even without my name attached.