PAUL TILLOTSON. THE PIANO FELLER. A MUSICAL GENIUS. HE LEAVES US ALL WIGGLIN, WITH BIG, HUGE BALLS.
"What does it all mean in the End other than the art, love, good times, health, growth, friendships, memories, how well you are treated and how well you are loved is a reflection of how well you treat others.. I met Paul Tillotson in 1999 through Sherman and Ray Foote of BigFoote Music. In March 2016 smack dag in the middle of painting for this show I was told Paul had a short time left and to come to Idaho soon if I wanted to pay my respects to one of my dearest friends. I told Paul about the show, and he said do the show. Crying inside but trying to show strength I revealed I was dedicating this show to him. I think it made him very very happy considering the circumstances. I started painting in April 2016 as the final piece to the puzzle, knowing he had only a few days or weeks to live. I was praying every minute hoping that after the April show Paul would still be alive. The guilt was unbearable at times but I never let on. We talked often and texted almost daily. I arrived in Sun Valley early May and stayed a month spending hours with Paul and his family. Paul had dinner cooked every night for him by so many neighbors, friends and people that never met him in Sun Valley for the last 2 years of his life. Again an indication of who he was and how much his music means to the community. Even in his worst days he seemed to inspire greatness and strength. He is, always was, and will be gift from another planet that so many of us can learn from and find peace with.
We spent so many days and nights together I lost count. He is one of the greatest persons, friends, and artists I ever met. He would wear the most bizarre clothes everyday full of color whether it was 90 in July or 8 degrees in January. I was asked to create a mural at Electric Lady Studios the home of Jimi Hendrix a few years ago. I was so overwhelmed I cant even finish it. I never met Hendrix yet know he was incredible. I knew Paul really well and never underestimated or once for a second thought there was another living piano player I met who could play with the energy Paul had. He was my Hendrix on a keyboard."
Oil, acrylic, on canvas
74x74” framed April 2016
Collection of Lou Hansell and the Paul Tillotson Scholarship Foundation
Sun Valley, Idaho