OHSWEKEN — Well known guitarist and Six Nations musician Mark Laforme died on July 20.
Reaction from the community was shock and sadness as people remembered Laforme’s contribution to Canadian music.
“I’m at a Total Loss for words and totally DEVASTATED,” wrote Rob Bomberry. “Thanks for all you have taught me and all the time we spent together, not to mention a mini birthday concert one time and playing Our Wedding. Idk how I’m gonna get thru this day or any other day anytime soon. There weren’t many days we didn’t talk . And we never left one another without a huge hug. R.I.P my Brother. I’m gonna miss you like no other.”
One of Laforme’s daughters, Cheyenne Laforme wrote, “Everyday for 17 years I got to listen to my dad playing and singing in the basement. Not practicing, because he didn’t need to, but playing because it made him happy. On stage was when he was the best version of himself and I’m so happy you will all remember him that way. He would play the songs he hated if it made the crowd happy, but he sure as hell would not be playing those in the basement. He told me if I ever told a guitarist to play Freebird or EVER touch a musicians instrument I was in huge trouble. That is how I will remember him. The Dad who was like the wind, bouncing from city to city who raised me to be the same way. When he played for Stompin’ Tom he sent me a postcard from every stop. As I grew up and spent less time at home, I found myself naturally drawn to those places. Your condolences and anecdotes have brought us smiles and laughter. I’m sure they would bring him the same. Remember your loved ones as the best versions of themselves and appreciate them every day.”
Laforme was a touring member of the Stompin’ Tom Connors Band for three Canadian tours, performing with the Canadian rocker up to 2011. He recently performed at the Six Nations Indigenous People’s Day celebration in Ohsweken. He was a noted musician and a popular draw for local crowds. He was 69 years old.