RIP Lawrence Wheatley

RIP Lawrence Wheatley, Jazz Pianist

RIP Lawrence Wheatley, Jazz Pianist

Sometimes I feel like “going fishing,”

Like life is just a can of worms.

A lonely musician, sitting here wishin’

You’d listen, but on my own terms.

—Lawrence P. Wheatley

Looking in The Post this afternoon I was a little blown to hear about the passing Jazz Pianist, Lawrence Wheatley. I only recall having heard him play once and before i could a chance to rap to him he had gotten up from the piano and walked out the door.

According to this article he apparently was a poet and called himself the “Bard of Bebop.” I would really have loved to talk to him about the INTERSECTION of jazz and poetry and how he negotiated  that INTERSECTION in his work, if at all.

One thought on “RIP Lawrence Wheatley

  1. Lawrence Wheatley and I were together for 2 yrs. way back in the 60’s. He was my first love. Over the yrs., I would call him from time to time, think about him, and wait to hear his music on BGO. But, although I believed he was a genius, I recall thinking at the time that he would be acknowledged as a great composer and pianist only after his death. He was not much of a businessman and cared nothing about making money; his demons were too effective, his inner-world too empowering. In 1967 he didn’t look particulary odd, no sun glasses or clownish clothes, but as intimate as we were living together, there was so much I didn’t know about him. I was only 19 and fairly innocent. I would look up words he said when he was done talking. One word particularly comes to mind, “benevolent.” I remember sitting in a bar after an argument with him and scrawlilng on a piece of paper something I had read, “coming together, falling apart, you and I, no telling why.” and he immediately and spontaneously wrote back, “confidence entrusted, later disgusted.” I also remember a Saturday morning in April when I returned to our tiny apt. on Meridian Pl. after running some errands, and finding Lawrence, as usual, at the piano. He had just composed a song, “snowflakes in the spring.” It was beautiful and I hope it exists somewhere. Yesterday, quite by chance, I had the urge to look him up, and learned that he no longer exists. I do hope Lorenz has access to his father’s work. Jayne

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