I knew Ronnie Lane because I was a
roadie for a band who's members, performances and after-hours antics attracted a wide
selection of characters. Ronnie was one of those characters.
Ronnie's last few years in the Material World
remain pretty much a mystery to his friends. His wife (for whatever reasons) whisked him
away to Trinidad, Colorado, and many people that were close to him never heard from him
again. Yesterday, I found myself in Trinidad with a band I am currently working for.
During the few minutes spare time I had, I attempted to quiz locals about Ronnie for
information regarding those last few years.
Located on a high mountain pass, Trinidad just so happens to be the sex change capital of
the world. There is a hospital that specializes in these operations, a fact which must
have amused Ron. I just KNOW he would have joked about not wanting to go near that
particular hospital for fear of
having his "Willy" removed. He'd probably say "But Who would want it,
ANYWAY"? It is said that the waitress that serves you in a cafe might possibly
have used to be a Longshoreman. It is an impoverished town with lots of old abandoned
buildings. The population is primarily Hispanic. I learned that even though many
specialists that perform the sex changes reside in Trinidad, there is a severe shortage of
doctors. Someone told me that when a woman has a baby, she has to go somewhere else for
town without proper medical care doesn't sound like a good place for Ron to have lived.
Even had he been healthy, he was the kind of guy who might have dropped a bowling ball on
his foot, or sustain an injury from a goat or a kitchen utensil.
I asked folks if they met or had heard of him.
Only one person claimed to know him and said he was "doing just
fine".....Uhhh...OK...(when I had asked for directions to the venue of my gig, the
same guy sent me on a goose chase, zig-zagging across town....turns out it was just around
the corner from the
confused direction giver/so called pal of the so called living, healthy Ronnie
Ronnie Lane's spirit did not stay in Trinidad
Colorado. I imagine it moved to somewhere he really loved....perhaps his farm in
Wales....or maybe the Hill country of Texas.....But its not in Trinidad Colorado...the
vibes are wrong...maybe the light is wrong....maybe he was scared of losing his
......I looked but i couldnt find ya,
Ronnie....See ya when i'm lookin at ya...Ta Mate.
Bill Simoneau has an
extensive history in the rock-n-roll biz (and lifestyle, I suppose). He grew up in
Albuquerque, where he began his career playing in garage bands like the 4-Lorne.
During the 70's, he sustained himself primarily as a stage manager. In the 80's he
was a guitar and backline tech for many different acts. From the late 80s to the
present he has been a live sound engineer. He's recently worked with Joe
Ely, Delbert McClinton, the Planets, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Indigo Girls, Will Sexton, Al
Hurricane and others. He currently resides in front of a computer in Albuquerque,