This is a note concerning the passing of our friend Gary Lee Murray of Riverside CA.
Press Enterprise obituary:
There is a guestbook there to share your remembrances and photos.
It is very easy for me to say that Gary Murray was one of the most unique individuals i have had the worldly pleasure to meet. Just the mere thought of his name brings on a plethora of stories.
I remember one instance taking a fiddle (which I bought from him) over to his place because I couldn’t figure out how to get an annoying buzz out of it.
He glanced it over slyly and retreated back into the house and upon returning handed me his own prized blonde fiddle.
It had these heart shaped tuning pegs on it that he carved by hand, and it sported one of those spruce tops that he would painstakingly re-graduated.
I’m proud to say that I own only two fiddles, one given to me by Stuart Duncan, the other by Gary Murray.
Gary would, in my presence sometimes mimic a Django Rheinhardt guitar solo note for note, then up and grab his fiddle and also replicate violinist Stephen Grappelli’s answered parts.
He had an entirely different philosophy of music. Everyone who heard him of course envied him, but I respected the fact that he kept it to himself, close to the vest. Like a true artist, to him it was personal, not something to then parade around for attention.
He worked on his foreign bicycles with the same exact enthusiasm that he poured into musical instrument design In that sense he was also a ‘true’ romantic, so much so that you just knew that he swooned, as innocent as pictured below, at the very curvature of the machinery, or the delicate bouts of a fiddle.
All told I feel lucky to have known him, and his memory will never leave me.