Thursday, April 30, 2009

local guitarist Kent Henry passes away

I was sorry to hear that this wonderful musician finally passed. I had some contact/playing with Kent, through another guitar player in the early 2000's and finally heard what everyone was talking about with this guy. I did post the original email from Tony Conroy which came a day ago, and then my email response to Tony.

After the emails will be the official notice by Michael Russell at The Oregonian.

From: xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Local blues musician dies -
Date: April 30, 2009 2:19:35 AM PDT


Did you see this? I totally missed it.

I dealt with Kent many time when he worked as a repair tech at the Beaverton Guitar Center.

He was indeed a humble and unassuming guy. One time I brought him a story I found on the net from a guy who saw a concert Kent played with Steppenwolf at a college in Wisconsin. Kent's performance was so inspiring that it caused the guy to learn to play the guitar. Incredibly, Kent said he remembered the concert and was extremely touched to hear the story. Another time I was with him at Guitar Center waiting for him to complete my repair work, when the usual "Stairway to Heaven" came screaming from the amp section. I asked Kent if he ever got tired of hearing that tune here at the store. He said "No, I really don't mind hearing it..I just wish they'd learn to play it right".

What sad news.


Subject: kent henry story...
Date: April 30, 2009 7:54:49 AM PDT
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

yeah, I heard about it a few weeks ago when Kent was going down slow and I think that a benefit was mentioned, but didn't happen.

I never played with him actively, but knew of him and did one set of rehearsals and a one-off with Robert (Brown) Rude. That was the first time that I really heard Kent live, and he had some great instincts and cool tricks, within a strong framework of sound and grooves.

We played a great set at the giant gay bar (forget the name, but an infamous lesbian pick up place) up the street from Kung Fu Bakery on Division. Rude was trying to scare up some gigs, and that was the first time I had been in that place. There might have been a recording, and I will look.

A real loss in PDX music annals.

thanks for the heads-up and see you tonight (?) at the jam

Local blues musician dies
by Michael Russell, The Oregonian
Thursday March 19, 2009, 6:17 AM

Kent Henry Plischke, a blues guitarist and singer who recorded with the bands Steppenwolf and Blues Image under the name Kent Henry, died Wednesday in Portland, his caregiver said. He was 60.

He was easy going, and he was a humble man, said Patty J. Hill, 56, who cared for Plischke at her Southeast Portland home. He once gave a gold record away because he didn't want to look like he was bragging.

Plischke was born on April 5, 1948 in Hollywood, Calif., Hill said. He joined his first band, The Lost Souls, when he was 14 years old.

In 1969 he played on the album Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends which featured guitarists Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, bass player Noel Redding and drummer John Bonham.

Plischke provided guitar solos on the Blues Image song Ride Captain Ride, a hit that peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Music Chart in June of 1970.

Plischke joined Steppenwolf in 1971, and toured with the band through 1972, playing lead guitar on hits such as Born to be Wild and Magic Carpet Ride. He also played on their 1971 studio album For Ladies Only.

Plischke moved to Southwest Portland in the early 1980s, Hill said. He replaced local blues musician Jim Mesi in the Paul deLay Blues Band and worked for 15 years as a technician at Apple Music at 225 S.W. First Ave., where he met and briefly dated Hill.

Hill took Plischke in for emergency surgery about 2 a.m. this morning. He was given a sedative but died before surgery could begin.

A public service is planned from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on Thursday, March 26 at the Omega Funeral Home at 223 S.E. 122nd Avenue in Portland.

-- Michael Russell;


Anonymous Anonymous said...

will be missed. He was a special person and always wore a smile. My son thought the world of him and grew up listening to kent play guitar. No more blues, only happy tune for our beloved frien Kent Henry.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Troy Thompson and I've been playing drums now for over 30 years... I had the UTMOST pleasure of meeting ken in Prineville, Oregon in 1997 I think...A guy owned a bar out on the lake..and had Kent's 50's 60'2 group playing for the night.The owner knew I was drummer, but wanted to test my he never tole me...that I was going to be jamming with the Great Kent Henry. About the 3rd set...he says " drummer needs a break...wantta sit in a couple songs?? I said well sure! So we got to know each other a little bit. I asked him about touring and such...he sits back...still VERY professional in his light blue denim GIBSON shirt...and says.."well ya know kid...back when I was tourin' Europe with the Wolf......." when I realized WHO it was...I almost needed a medic. But seriously..the guy was THE GREATEST!! Got his drummer (who really WAS from Poland) down so I could gig...drummer says "OK...we sing LOUIE LOUIE!" I was like "NOOOOO problems..............they were the ONLY words in English...everything else was in Polish...we laughed our butts OFF!!!! And I finished out playing the last couple sets. Very VERY sad to hear of his passing. He was a great guy..and a TRULY great musician.....he will be very missed. our prayer and thoughts to his family...just so sorry it took me this long to find out...moved from Oregon to NC......Magic Carpet Ride Babyyyy-

2:08 AM  

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