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Johnny Downer, R.I.P.

Posted by on Dec 9, 2009 | Comments (2)

Like many of you, I heard the sad news that Johnny Downer, guitarist for the excellent Sonoma County band Free Peoples, died unexpectedly while vacationing in Mexico over the weekend. He leaves behind a huge group of loving family and friends, as well as his exemplary recorded work with Free Peoples. He played the hell out of the guitar, man. I saw him play with Free Peoples several times, and it was my pleasure to present his deserving band with a gold record award last year at the North Bay Music Awards. He will be missed.

Condolences are collecting here and here. A memorial is planned for Dec. 18 in Costa Mesa, CA, and the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol is hosting a fittingly lengthy tribute show on January 9, from 4pm ’til close. More info, as it comes in, can be accessed here.


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  1. Mikeg
    December 17, 2009

    He will be missed dearly, he was a great friend for 20 years. Seen so many Dead shows together I can’t even recall how many. Love you man and I hope you are somewhere beautiful.

  2. Rodney T. Kimble
    December 19, 2009

    I really still cant believe my really good friend has gone! I was locked up on a traffic warrant at the time I recieved this news. Im so sorry and very very sad I didnt even get to see him before all of this. Johnny, You were on my mind so much in the last few weeks from out of nowhere and now I know why. You were communicating to me from Heaven. I will always love you Johnny! I miss you so much my friend! You ‘ve done things for me I could never ever begin to forget my brother. May GOD always be with you and so will I Johnny! My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Rest In Peace Johnny Downer and I love you!!!!


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