Fritz Richmond Succumbs To Cancer

Jug and washtub bass player Fritz Richmond, 66, died of lung cancer in Portland, Ore., November 20th. He was considered one of the finest player of those instruments in the world, and one of his washtub basses is on display in the Smithsonian.

He came to prominence in 1963 with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band after developing the washtub bass into a usable instrument by stringing it with steel cable and inventing a steel-and-rawhide glove so he could play it.

In the early ’70s, Richmond moved to Los Angeles and engineered albums for The Doors, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and others.

One of his many contributions to music includes naming the band Lovin’ Spoonful.

Another was his signature granny glasses, later popularized by Roger McGuinn and John Sebastian. Richmond wore them from necessity, though; blowing on the jug had made him cross-eyed.