Lou Bond Portrait

Lou Bond was a musician recorded by Stax back in 1974. His music was not the typical Stax sound, he was a unique musician who played acoustic guitar and fit more in the singer/songwriter category. He had an orchestra for back up, and wasn’t following musical trends. But people, he could sing. His songs focused a lot on the injustice he saw around him, that he saw all of us suffering from. He was of his time, and he wasn’t.

I got to know him in his later years. He was a very close friend to the man who commissioned this portrait. I couldn’t find many pictures of Lou, so I used the photograph on his album/cd as a model for the painting. (The CD was re-released by Light In the Attic Records) so his music still available.

There were many struggles and shadows in his life. When I knew him, he was playing in coffee shops in Memphis. He rode a bicycle around midtown. I remember thinking of how hard it is to make a living as a musician if you don’t have the type of personality that can deal with all the confusion and ego of the music business. Lou wasn’t equipped to be a “star” and yet he shone in the life of those who knew him. He’d been abused as a child and hurt in ways he could never share. He was on disability for mental disorders, but the music in his soul still shone brightly.

You meet someone who seems to have so much potential, they could be famous. But Lou was someone who carried the weight of life, who didn’t belong in that harsh and dehumanizing light of fame. He was a man who recorded some songs, who felt things deeply, who was hurt in ways he could never recover from, but who sang any way. He passed away in 2013.

Lou Bond by Joy Murray, 8×10″ acrylic paint and ink

You can listen to his music here.


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