In Memoriam: Larry Sims

Loggins & Messina - 1971 (Sims seated)Bassist/vocalist Larry Sims, who was an original member of Loggins & Messina, has passed away of undisclosed causes. Bandleader Jim Messina broke the news on his Facebook page.

“I was awakened this morning with a phone call that Larry Sims has passed away. As most of you know Larry was the original bass player and singer in Loggins and Messina.Larry will be forever missed for he was an important and integral part of my musical success in life. We owe all those great high harmony blends on the original Loggins and Messina recordings to Larry.”

Sims was a member of the ’60s group The Sunshine Company before meeting Messina in Huntington Beach, California. Once Loggins & Messina teamed up, Sims was brought into the fold. He played on all six studio albums including the hits “Danny’s Song”, “House at Pooh Corner”, and “Your Mama Don’t Dance” before the group broke up in 1976.

“Larry was a very talented, likeable n easy-going guy; no stress, no hassle,” Kenny Loggins shared. “I think that attitude served him well as he coasted through the intensity that was L&M in the early 70s. I’ll always remember his easy way and positive attitude with fondness.He was an excellent bass player, but his voice is what set him apart. His smooth vocals were sometimes mistaken for Stephen Stills’, as on the last 32 bars of ‘Golden Ribbons.’ But my favorite performance is Larry’s lead vocal on Jim Messina’s tune, ‘Keep Me In Mind.’”

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Larry Sims.

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  1. Greg Sowell

    He had that killer bass line on Angry Eyes from the On Stage live album. What a groove!

  2. leslie ridpath

    I just got the news about Larry and my heart is sad. I was trying to find copy’s of some original works that we did in the late 80’s to see if he had some copies of the works we done with Michael Frazier, Jerry Stringer, Joe Romer and myself. He was the best in my eye’s I’ll never forget him Red Redpath.

  3. perry sims

    On another thread about Larry, there was a response from his daughter who offered to put me in touch with mutual cousins. Larry and I shared a grandfather. Then, I lost track of her. Anyone know who that might have been?

  4. eddie willers

    I just heard “Golden Ribbons” on XM and thought, “Now I can go to Wikipedia and see Stephen Stills credited for that “What does it avail a man…” background vocal. And now I find that was Sims. Too late for me to tell him thanks.


  5. David Harvey

    Larry was, in my opinion, one of the best bassists in the Los Angeles music scene and during his time with L&M, he was not only a solid and effective bassist, but also a very, very good singer with a nice smooth voice.
    TBH, Kenny and Jim couldn’t have asked for a better rhythm section than Larry and drummer Merel Bregante, who is also a capable singer in his own right.
    Although it’s not widely noted, Larry also sang the penultimate line in the final refrain of “Watching the River Run” (you can hear him singing at the 2:40 mark) and the intro vocals on “Pretty Princess”. If you see old footage or photographs of L&M in their 1970’s heyday, you can see that Larry clearly had a fondness for Fender basses, particularly the Fender Jazz Bass and to a certain extent, the Fender Precision Bass.

    • I too am a big Larry Sims fan. Great “in the pocket player, playing exactly what was needed, no more-no less. Happy that he was a Fender Bass fan, I now own his ‘65 Jazz Bass that he used in L&M. It will be rotated and played with my other old Fender Basses. I think that’s what Larry and Leo Fender would want, that’s why they were made…to be played. I’ve not even cleaned the bass (except fingerboard) still has his DNA all over it.