Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Death breaks up lifelong rock duo

Larry Reinhardt. Mack Doss.

I can't think of one without the other.

What brings them to mind now is Reinhardt's passing Monday at 63.

I can only imagine how Doss is coping with the death of his lifelong friend, fellow guitarist and kindred spirit.

I met them years ago not long after I came to Bradenton in 1998 and wrote about them.

"Rhino," as Reinhardt was known, played with Iron Butterfly, an iconic rock group from the 1970s. "In A Gadda Da Vida" was their monster hit and defined that era.

Doss, played with Classics IV, known for their "Soft Southern rock" sound, with hits like "Traces" and "Spooky."

Those songs were part of the sound track of my life in college and in the early years afterward.

So it was a gas to meet Reinhardt and Doss, all of us in our 50s by then.

It was even sweeter to know and appreciate both were sons of Bradenton, who attended Southeast High School, then formed a successful local band, the Thunderbeats, before moving onto the big time.

Yet they never forgot their roots, playing gigs around town as Rhino & Doss.

One October a few years ago, they returned to Southeast, spoke to a first-year guitar class and were besieged by autograph requests. Afterward they jammed for Southeast's Renaissance students in the school theater.

The response was overwhelming.

When the duo played, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," and then, "Spooky," the students sang along, waving their lighted cellphones.

"Man, I can't remember the last time I had this much fun," Reinhardt said.

So did Doss.

"These are kids are hip and they've all got 3.9 GPAs --- just like me and Rhino did," he joked.

I hope Doss is comforted by the memories of those good times.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Vin,

    You are so right, I am lost without him. Larry and I began playing together when I was 13 and he was 12 and our families knew each other for a couple of generations. He was like a brother to me and his passing has left a hole in my heart.


    Mack Doss