Garage Rock Organist Paul Revere Dead at 76

Garage Rock Organist Paul Revere Dead at 76
Paul Revere, the organist and namesake for the long-running garage rock group Paul Revere & the Raiders, has passed away at 76. Though his cause of death is currently unknown, TMZ reports [via Rolling Stone] that he had struggled with cancer for the last year.

The Idaho-based group first formed in 1958, where their initial run lasted until 1976. Two years later, they reformed and toured regularly until earlier this year, when a doctor ordered Revere to stop touring and preserve his health.

In their decades as a group, Paul Revere and the Raiders achieved many hits, including "Melody for an Unknown Girl," "Just Like Me" and their take on "Louie, Louie."

The Raiders remembered Revere with a lengthy statement on their official website, which can be read in full below:

Dear Paul,
Where do I begin? How do I tell you how much I love you and what you have meant to me?

Have you ever met a person and felt like you've known them your entire life, sensed a familiarity and warmth? That's how I felt the very first time I met you, and the feeling only grew stronger the more I got to know you.

 Like most people, my initial introduction to you was on television, radio and records, but none of those mediums gave me a real clue to the one-of-a-kind life force that was Paul Revere.

Sitting in an audience at my first Paul Revere and The Raiders concert introduced me to a larger-than-life dynamo of high-energy slapstick, outrageous and spontaneous humor and a genuine child-like joy. Everyone in attendance just knew that you MUST be a wonderful person offstage too, no doubt about it.

Meeting you after a show in the autograph line cemented the deal for everyone. Just as fun, funny and spontaneous as you were onstage, extremely nice and accommodating to everyone who waited in the long lines to meet you. Take a picture - "SURE, take TWO!" Sign these 20 albums? "Why NOT, you helped pay for my first house, and my first wife!"

Generous to a fault with your family, your friends and your band, there seemed to be no limit to your kindness. When you turned your attention towards someone, you made that person feel special and in your spotlight. You had a pet name for each person, and you never hesitated to tell them how exceptional they were. You appreciated the talent, beauty, skills and uniqueness you found in others, and you were never shy about telling them so. All the more reason for people to feel wonderful in your presence.

 It's no accident that people called you "Uncle Paul". You were like a favorite uncle who's always fun to be around. Hug-gable, like a child's favorite stuffed animal, smart, funny, world traveled and so very interesting. (and as you would say, "Don't forget CUTE!!") You were also the epitome of a cool rock star, admired and respected by so many entertainers throughout the decades.

And how about people like Dick Clark? How many businessmen and showbiz people did Dick Clark meet in his lifetime? And yet he gravitated to you, and chose to work on many projects and business ventures with you. He saw something in you, even when you were a kid, that separated you from the pack of extremely talented and interesting people with whom he constantly came into contact. He was proud to call you his friend and enjoyed your company tremendously. The same goes for Andy Williams and many, many others.

You loved eating a hot dog at a truck stop with the guys as much as you enjoyed spending an entire evening in a classy restaurant appreciating the finer things. You loved taking your friends out to dinner, and you never let them pay. You always got to know the staff when you ate out too. By the end of the evening you not only knew your server's names, you knew all about their hopes, their goals, their family. You knew the manager's name and you made sure you told them how fantastic your server was. And you always tipped WAY too much. This is EVERY time, at EVERY restaurant. This says a lot about the kind of person you were.

 Your deep love and devotion to your wife, Sydney, was beyond compare. Anyone could see the eternal connection you shared, the great marriage you were part of, what a doting and attentive husband you were. The way you made each other laugh, holding hands and your open show of affection. No one could make you happy like she did, and no one could make you laugh like she could. Hopeless romantics enjoying each other and the life you shared together.

You loved Christmas like no one else. You loved Disney World, old movies on TCM, rocking chairs on the porch, Sunday mornings at home with your wife, a nice fire in the fireplace and a big bowl of popcorn - you absolutely just loved life!

But now you have passed on. By your example, both professional and personal, you've left a blueprint of how to live a life full of love, laughter and happiness. The world will be a lot less fun, a lot less kind and gentle without Paul Revere in it. Your larger-than-life absence will leave a void in our hearts and our lives.

We are all blessed to have known you, and we'll miss you more than you could ever know.

Love forever,

Everyone who has ever met you.