"Tuba Fats" Lacen

Reproduced from "Offbeat", the Weekly New Orleans sheet

The New Orleans music community mourns the loss of sousaphonist extraordinaire Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, who left this world last Thursday. OffBeat's staff will never forget the day he unexpectedly showed up at the office with a troupe of brass band youngsters and performed an impromptu concert in our dining room. It was Anthony's way of thanking us for putting him on the Christmas 2000 cover, where he appeared with a seasonally-clad Shim Shamette on each knee. In the same issue, the former McDonogh 36 student, Preservation Hall performer, Olympia Brass Band member and veteran of Jackson Square recitals told interviewer Bunny Matthews: "There are some musicians that don't talk to me or think bad about me because I play out on the street and all, but I care less about that because when I die, I'm gonna die by myself. And they'll be the ones standing over me, saying, 'Oh, he was a good man!' Some of the musicians who are sitting back with their mouths pushed out, putting out bad things about music should come forward and spread it a little forward so that peoples can enjoy it because you only have a short life. I'm enjoying mine. Music will go with me all the way to my grave. That's how I want to die-I want to play that last note and die. That's the way to go- take the joy with you."

Fred, Very sad about Tuba Fats  , only 53! I was looking forward to sitting in with him again in Jackson Square. I wonder who will take his place. You might like to put this extrect from Offbeat, the Weekly New Orleans sheet. A fitting tribute which I think many of his friends in this country would appreciate

Nick Telfer           

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