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Author Topic:  RIP Mike Perlowin
Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2021 5:58 am    
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Very sorry to hear this.
Many of us only knew him through the forum. He was always quick with useful answers for anyone who had a question.
I had no idea he was having such a struggle with his health.
RIP Mike
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Michael McGee


From:
Everton, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jul 2021 6:07 am    
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Condolences to his family. RIP Mike.

Last edited by Michael McGee on 26 Jul 2021 1:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 11:12 am    
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Sorry to hear of Mike's passing. We hadn't talked in some time, which I regret. I had a chance to spend some time with Mike when we"did" NAMM together several years ago.

Mike was an absolute genius, created ethnic and classical music to the steel guitar world that I doubt any one will even attempt again, was completely open to ANY style of music on the steel guitar, and really supported me early on in my quest to NOT play county music - but just play music.

And that was the thing abut Mike and the steel guitar - you could play country, jazz, rock, blues, classical, metal, punk, math rock or atonal bird calls on the steel and he didn't give a darn - as long as you were playing YOUR music. He refused to be pigeonholed into traditional "pedal steel music" and he steadfastly supported others playing "outside the norm".

I will always thank him for that. And I will always get a kick out of the way he could be so confounding, argumentative, stubborn, rude, hilarious - AND kind - all a once!

Mike was a real piece of work. I don't think there will ever be anyone close.

RIP Mike. Thanks for being my friend.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 12:14 pm    
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RIP Mike!
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Herb Steiner

 

From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 12:51 pm    
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Jim Sliff wrote:
Sorry to hear of Mike's passing. We hadn't talked in some time, which I regret. I had a chance to spend some time with Mike when we"did" NAMM together several years ago.

Mike was an absolute genius, created ethnic and classical music to the steel guitar world that I doubt any one will even attempt again, was completely open to ANY style of music on the steel guitar, and really supported me early on in my quest to NOT play county music - but just play music.

And that was the thing abut Mike and the steel guitar - you could play country, jazz, rock, blues, classical, metal, punk, math rock or atonal bird calls on the steel and he didn't give a darn - as long as you were playing YOUR music. He refused to be pigeonholed into traditional "pedal steel music" and he steadfastly supported others playing "outside the norm".

I will always thank him for that. And I will always get a kick out of the way he could be so confounding, argumentative, stubborn, rude, hilarious - AND kind - all a once!

Mike was a real piece of work. I don't think there will ever be anyone close.

RIP Mike. Thanks for being my friend.


Jim, you truly understood Mike. Thanks for a great description of the man, and I share all your feelings and more... especially stubborn, considerate, obsessive, and totally generous! Laughing

Permit me to condense a very recent phone conversation we had that is so "Perlowin."

Just a short while ago, I get a call from Mike (my friend for 59 years) and he asked me if I'd ever read DUNE, the sci-fi classic by Frank Herbert. I told him that "I've been aware of the book and the movie... which didn't do anything for me... for years. And besides, I've never been into anything Sci-Fi and I'm not now. So, no. I have not."

"The movie is shit, nothing like the book. Forget about it. You have to read the book. I've read it nine times."

"Mike, I have a stack of books on my shelf to be my next 3 reads. And I'm not into Sci-Fi."

"I don't believe it. You really should read DUNE. It will change you. I'm gonna send you a copy."

"Mike, how did this topic come up? Please, don't send me anything."

"What's your snail mail?"

"Please, man... save your money. I'm truly not into it."

Four days later a copy of DUNE arrives at my house. The next day I get a call.

"How far into the book are you?"

"Not very far. It's still in the packaging."

"Call me when you get into it."

So, borne out of respect for my friend's generosity and I-don't-know what else, I start the book, all the while looking at the stack of books I really WANT to read as well as the one I was already in the middle of. I gave it a shot but I can't do it; I can't visualize myself in that outer space scenario, and so I mind block it at Page Nine. My bad. Apparently I'm too set in my ways to open my brain up to Sci-Fi. My literary interests are history, music, fishing, politics, practical stuff, whatever, but not Sci-Fi. So I call Mike.

"Where are you in the book?"

"Page nine. Listen man, you're a great friend and everything but I told you not to send me the book."

"I've read it nine times."

"I know that. I'm gonna send it back to you."

"Don't send it back. Give it to someone you think should read it."

That last one really puzzled me... how do I accomplish that? I have things that Mike has sent me all over my house, and for many years, but the last thing he sent me is sitting by my stack of previously-read and to-be-read tomes. Bright orange and sticking out like a pumpkin in a charcoal bag. But I'm gonna keep it. And who knows? I may even read it some day.

Yes, his last gift to me will be a physical remembrance of the many years of friendship we've shared, even though most have been a half continent apart. I will miss him.
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Bill McCloskey

 

From:
Nyack
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 2:01 pm    
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Great story Herb.
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 2:04 pm    
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Herb, that story is so Perlowin! Thanks for sharing it.
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Ron Epperson

 

From:
Riverside,Calif. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 3:22 pm     Mike perlowin
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So sorry to hear this we were good friends R.I.P. big man
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Michael Johnstone


From:
Sylmar,Ca. USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 5:44 pm    
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This was "Excel Night" at Al Vescovo's house in 2003.
Mitsuo Fuji was on his way back to Japan right after Scotty's convention
and so it turned into a gathering of LA steel players.
Both Al and I both had brand new Excels and everyone got to sit down and try them out.
Al had a red 14 string C6 that only he could play.
Perlowin was the life of the party as usual.








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Herb Steiner

 

From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2021 5:48 pm    
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Michael Johnstone wrote:





That's it, right there. Very Happy
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Craig Stock


From:
Westfield, NJ USA
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2021 3:15 am    
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Chris Templeton asked me to post this for him

I first met Mike at Scotty’s in 1981 and again at other conventions.
He lived, breathed steel guitar. He definitely was afflicted with “the bug”.
He championed the wrist lever, and liked to push steel guitar boundries, with his music and designs.
A song in honor of Mike. Rest easy, my friend:


>> https://youtu.be/41psnJFr0bI
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2021 8:03 am    
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This is a nice tribute, Graig. RIP Mr.Perlowin.
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rick andrews

 

From:
Westminster Co 80031
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2021 8:08 am    
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This is really sad. Thanks for your contributions Mike. RIP.
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Larry Petree

 

From:
Bakersfield. Ca. USA
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2021 8:58 am     Rip Mike
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Very sorry to hear about Mike. He used to come up to Bakersfield often. He had a really big dog that loved him so much. His visits were always a learning visit for me. He took the pedal steel to different areas.
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Donny Hinson

 

From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2021 4:08 pm    
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Oh no, this is so sad! Mike and I had regular conversations about steel guitar, his health, and music in general, starting about a decade ago. We were both around the same age, and he spoke often about his love of the pedal steel and his desire to introduce it into serious classical music. He had many disappointments along the way, and also more than a few health problems and accidents, but always kept trudging along. We spoke about being overweight, and I remember telling him that I worried about other steelers with the same problem. A few months later Herby Wallace died, and Mike Jones was also on my mind. Fortunately, "Cookie" was able to drop a lot of his weight and live a few more years, and died just 2 or 3 years ago due to cancer.

He related to me many times about his boxes and boxes of the Chalker CD's that he had made and funded, and I probably bought at least a dozen over the years to give away to fellow players, both because I like Mike and also liked Curly's playing. Mike was very knowledgeable about music, and he tried to get me to learn to read again, even sending me his booklet on music theory. The last time we spoke, I told him about a project I was thinking about doing which was similar to the classical stuff he had done, cutting and pasting different parts together to make something truly unique, but also featuring nothing but pedal steel guitar. He urged me to "Do it, do it now!" Little did I know we'd never speak again.

I'll miss Mike and our talks, and his contributions to pedal steel and to the Forum.

Rest easy, old buddy. Crying or Very sad
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George Redmon


Post  Posted 27 Jul 2021 5:23 pm    
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I acquired the Chalker DVD & Reese's CD from mike. We exchanged a few emails right after i had surgery a couple years back. He tried cheering me up, and assured me i was going to pull through just fine. A loss for me, for sure.
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W. C. Edgar


From:
Iowa City Iowa, Madison CT, Nashville, Austin
Post  Posted 27 Jul 2021 7:58 pm    
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Well damn!
And one of the only folks I ever saw eye to eye with
Rest easy pal
WC
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Chance Wilson


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2021 3:18 pm    
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RIP Mike was one of the first steel players I met in LA.
He had a gift where he did everything his own way but instead of alienating other players, he brought them all together.
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James Ives

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2021 9:27 pm     Dune
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I think Mike must have asked everybody if they had read Dune. I know he asked me twice.

Come to think of it, does anybody recall Mike ever telling a story one time only?

My friend.

-Jim
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 30 Jul 2021 12:00 am    
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Sad news. I , like many here, have known Mike a very long time and communicated often, by email or PM. Over the years we spoke many times by phone as well. We met several times in St Louis as well. Mike was very talented and I considered him to be an innovator .

I'm very saddened by this news and offer prayers and peace to his family.

RIP Mike, you were one of the good guys for sure, a staple in our small community here.


I hate viewing this section of the forum Sad
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Rich Peterson


From:
Moorhead, MN
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2021 8:17 am    
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Mike was a valued and appreciated member of our virtual neighborhood. I shall miss him. A lot.
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Bob Cox


From:
Buckeye State
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2021 2:03 pm     Mike
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Mike , we will miss you. RIP
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David Ball


From:
North Carolina High Country
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2021 3:46 pm    
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Herb Steiner wrote:
Jim Sliff wrote:
Sorry to hear of Mike's passing. We hadn't talked in some time, which I regret. I had a chance to spend some time with Mike when we"did" NAMM together several years ago.

Mike was an absolute genius, created ethnic and classical music to the steel guitar world that I doubt any one will even attempt again, was completely open to ANY style of music on the steel guitar, and really supported me early on in my quest to NOT play county music - but just play music.

And that was the thing abut Mike and the steel guitar - you could play country, jazz, rock, blues, classical, metal, punk, math rock or atonal bird calls on the steel and he didn't give a darn - as long as you were playing YOUR music. He refused to be pigeonholed into traditional "pedal steel music" and he steadfastly supported others playing "outside the norm".

I will always thank him for that. And I will always get a kick out of the way he could be so confounding, argumentative, stubborn, rude, hilarious - AND kind - all a once!

Mike was a real piece of work. I don't think there will ever be anyone close.

RIP Mike. Thanks for being my friend.


Jim, you truly understood Mike. Thanks for a great description of the man, and I share all your feelings and more... especially stubborn, considerate, obsessive, and totally generous! Laughing

Permit me to condense a very recent phone conversation we had that is so "Perlowin."

Just a short while ago, I get a call from Mike (my friend for 59 years) and he asked me if I'd ever read DUNE, the sci-fi classic by Frank Herbert. I told him that "I've been aware of the book and the movie... which didn't do anything for me... for years. And besides, I've never been into anything Sci-Fi and I'm not now. So, no. I have not."

"The movie is shit, nothing like the book. Forget about it. You have to read the book. I've read it nine times."

"Mike, I have a stack of books on my shelf to be my next 3 reads. And I'm not into Sci-Fi."

"I don't believe it. You really should read DUNE. It will change you. I'm gonna send you a copy."

"Mike, how did this topic come up? Please, don't send me anything."

"What's your snail mail?"

"Please, man... save your money. I'm truly not into it."

Four days later a copy of DUNE arrives at my house. The next day I get a call.

"How far into the book are you?"

"Not very far. It's still in the packaging."

"Call me when you get into it."

So, borne out of respect for my friend's generosity and I-don't-know what else, I start the book, all the while looking at the stack of books I really WANT to read as well as the one I was already in the middle of. I gave it a shot but I can't do it; I can't visualize myself in that outer space scenario, and so I mind block it at Page Nine. My bad. Apparently I'm too set in my ways to open my brain up to Sci-Fi. My literary interests are history, music, fishing, politics, practical stuff, whatever, but not Sci-Fi. So I call Mike.

"Where are you in the book?"

"Page nine. Listen man, you're a great friend and everything but I told you not to send me the book."

"I've read it nine times."

"I know that. I'm gonna send it back to you."

"Don't send it back. Give it to someone you think should read it."

That last one really puzzled me... how do I accomplish that? I have things that Mike has sent me all over my house, and for many years, but the last thing he sent me is sitting by my stack of previously-read and to-be-read tomes. Bright orange and sticking out like a pumpkin in a charcoal bag. But I'm gonna keep it. And who knows? I may even read it some day.

Yes, his last gift to me will be a physical remembrance of the many years of friendship we've shared, even though most have been a half continent apart. I will miss him.


I never knew Mike, but always appreciated his posts to the forum. He'd obviously thought this stuff out way deeper than I'd ever be able to. The pictures of Mike in the earlier post didn't look anything like what I expected. Guess that's the way it usually is.

But as Mike said, Dune was a great book and a terrible movie. I still have my original mid 70's copy which I've read many times, as the condition of my copy would indicate. Muad Dib!

Though I never knew you, RIP friend!

Dave
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Andrew Goulet


From:
••••••••
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2021 4:21 am    
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Oh man! Rest in peace, Mike. What a loss.
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Mikiya Matsuda


From:
San Francisco, California, USA
Post  Posted 3 Aug 2021 7:05 pm    
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This is such sad news. My sincere condolences to all his close friends on the forum. Rest in peace, Mike.
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