Arts & Culture

Larry Roquemore, key figure in Fort Worth music scene, dead at 69

Larry Roquemore, previously the leader of the garage rock band Larry and the Blue Notes, sits on the original stage of the Holiday Skating Rink in Haltom City in 2004, where they had performed in the 1960’s.
Larry Roquemore, previously the leader of the garage rock band Larry and the Blue Notes, sits on the original stage of the Holiday Skating Rink in Haltom City in 2004, where they had performed in the 1960’s. Star-Telegram archives

Larry Roquemore, one of the founding fathers of the Fort Worth music scene, died Aug. 21.

He was 69.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but Roquemore’s wife, Connie, confirmed his passing in a post on Facebook.

“Per Larry’s wishes, there will be no public funeral/memorial,” she wrote. “Perhaps at a later time, we will do a Celebration of Life for Larry. I’m just not ready for that yet.”

Fort Worth native Larry Roquemore was an integral part of the city’s garage rock scene, which bubbled up in the 1960s, and spawned several influential acts that have been rediscovered and celebrated over the last several years.

Roquemore’s band, Larry & the Blue Notes, is considered one of the key groups to have emerged from the fertile Fort Worth scene.

“We were before the Beatles,” Roquemore told the Star-Telegram in 2004. “We’d been playing three years prior to that scene. ... We opened for Ike and Tina Turner and played Bobby Bland and James Brown stuff. We’d go down to clubs on the Jacksboro Highway, set up and pass the hat around. We were kids. We had no fear.”

Larry & the Blue Notes lasted just six years, but were signed to a couple national labels — including a stint on 20th Century Fox Records — and enjoyed some success with the single Night of the Sadist.

In 2004, the Fort Worth garage rock scene got its due with the release of Norton Records’ well-received Fort Worth Teen Scene! compilations, as well as the documentary Fort Worth Teen Scene A-Go-Go, directed by Melissa Kirkendall and Mark Nobles.

“We didn’t even realize how many bands there were and how much was going on,” Roquemore told the Star-Telegram in 2004. “When I listen to those [Fort Worth Teen Scene!] CDs, I realize that we were a part of something, something that people around the world are passionate about. It was magic.”

Preston Jones: 817-390-7713, @prestonjones

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