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Richard "Bubbles" Richardson

1945 - 2014, Santa Barbara

Richard Richardson was born in a small town outside of London, England on March 2nd, 1945. Richard never knew his father, an RAF pilot by all accounts, who was shot down in his Spitfire while defending Great Britain against the German Luftwaffe. After the war Richard’s mother moved the family to Santa Barbara, California. She and the children became US citizens soon thereafter.

After graduating from Santa Barbara High School in 1963 Richard attended Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) and eventually joined the Army. Upon returning to Santa Barbara Richard partnered with Bob Fanara to open Fancy Music in 1971. Anyone who purchased a quality guitar in Santa Barbara during those years likely did so at Fancy Music. Often after concerts Richard, along with his many friends would host huge parties for the bands including Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh and countless others at his legendary Hot Springs Road house.

Richard’s passion for food, music, art, Formula One racing (especially the Ferraris), fine wines and champagne (hence the nickname Bubbles) was surpassed only by his love of making people laugh. In the years after closing Fancy Music, Richard became a fixture at many of Santa Barbara’s best known eateries and watering holes where he read his newspaper and regaled the wait staff and bartenders with lively tales of fast cars, backstage adventures and Rock n Roll’s glory days. A week prior to his passing from cancer, Richard enjoyed one last visit and a few laughs with longtime friends “Ferrari” Bob Callahan and Van Basham.

A Celebration of Life will be held this Saturday, February 22nd from 11am-3pm at the El Paseo Restaurant, 10 El Paseo, Santa Barbara 93101. Ph: 805-962-6050.

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Good Lord-this is really the passing of an era in Santa Barbara. This one goes all the way back to Bonnie Langley and “Pop” Leland, all on State Street.

I remember going into Fancy Music on State Street with Ken Thackwell and Neil Taylor (both gone now)l and buying Traynor amps and a Traynor sound system for our band, Noah’s Natural Rhythm. Richard and Bob made an interesting team. And both of them were super nice folks as well. RIP

edukder (anonymous profile)
February 18, 2014 at 11:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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