Bud Cockrell

Heaven's Got a New Soul Singer

On March 6th of 2010 the music industry lost a major singer and entertainer



For Bud:

Over the past several years Bud Cockrell has suffered from diabetes and on March 6, 2010 he passed away in his sleep!

His music was special, Bud was special, with a voice like none other!

The prolific body of work that Bud produced on his own and with bandmates Cory Lerios, David Jenkins and Steve Price is a testament to the power of song and live performance and he will be missed dearly in the music community.

In his honor, this website is dedicated as on ongoing memorial and tribute to Bud for those who were influenced, those who were fans and those who will discover Bud's musical wealth and contributions throughout the last 40 years.

Pablo Cruise invites anyone who has music, photos, stories and more relating to Bud Cockrell to share this with us. We'll see to it that your contribution is posted on this website.

Please send an email describing what you would like to post to our: CruiseDirector@PabloCruise.com

... and of course, we thank you! Bud leaves behind an amazing body of work and we just pray that he has finally found his "Place In The Sun"

Bud Cockrell was truly one of a kind... He was a true "Rock and Roller" up to his very last breath...."Like The Clown That Lives On Laughter And Pays For It After The Show Is Over"

Sincerely, And With Love,

Dave, Cory, Steve, Chuck, Bob and Jane and all the others that worked with him, knew him and loved him throughout the years.

If anyone wishes to make a financial contribution in Bud's name, it seems appropriate that you contact a diabetes cure organization in your community.

for more information please reference: American Diabetes Organization


Check out Bud's Songs

Rock and Roller
Look to the Sky
A Place in the Sun

    Bud Cockrell    

A letter from Bud's Little Sister

Missing a man I didn't know more and more as the days go by. I can only say THANKS to all the people that have left there memories of Bud on this page it gives me a chance to get to know him in My Own Quiet Way......

I'm the little sister that most people didn't know he had. It's taken me a little while to find the words to say to him and all I keep coming back to is how MUCH i LOVE him and really wanted to know him.

I have a few memories of my own. One of the most memorable was when mom and I went out to California in 1973, I was 3 but yes I do remember a couple of things. Bud had me in his lap driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. After Bud passed away I asked our mom what kinda car he had when I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge in his lap and she said a Volvo well mom is much older now and I thought she had no ideal what kinda car he had but after reading a story on this page I realized yeah she was right and so I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge at 3 in a volvo with one of the worlds most Soulful and Passionate Musician's ever lived.

I remember a story that mom told about having a smoke with Bud "me in the room" and how high she got yeah I said HIGH it's funny to hear the story. It seems anybody that knew him had one of those kinda stories...Hate I didn't...LOL

About 20 years ago our mom shared a picture of Bud, Dave, Cory and Steve it was from their Lifeline album. If you know anything about the band then you know they were naked on this cover and well do I need to say more. WOW GUYS!!!!!!!!

Mom has also shared pictures of the guys over the years as they have married and became fathers. You guys are the best!!!!!

Please keep sharing as it's my only way to know Bud......

I love you and will never forget you Bud......

Your Little Sister,


A letter from Bob Brown

Dear Bud,

I got the news this morning from Dave. I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through but your suffering is over. Dave put it as good as anyone ever will. “Heaven’s got a new soul singer. They aren’t ready….” He says he got to speak with you for a while last week. I only wish I had as well. Last I asked about calling you I was told you were “in and out” at the hospital. They had amputated your leg. You couldn’t have any idea how much you have been thought of. And speaking for myself, at least, for very good reason.

I first saw you perform with this new group that Frank Rothschild had insisted I check out. That was over 36 years ago at The Great American Music Hall. You totally had my attention. The band obviously was wonderful. But my initial impression of you was “this guy is special.” It turned out that you were all very special in my life. But I’ll never forget when your first came up to my house with Patty driving that old vintage car. (Desoto?) I had never met anyone like you before and I kind of knew I was hooked. You knew it too and immediately turned me over to Cory to finish the job! Our meeting made a profound difference not only in the rest of my life but in a lot of folks’ lives ever since.

You were so simple yet deep and complex. You were so honest, even moral. You were also forever an enigma to those closest to you. One thing you always did was make people feel. To say you wore your heart on your sleeve doesn’t even get it. I remember countless rehearsals and gigs. When you showed up everyone knew what kind of day it was going to be, immediately. You were always all business and professional. You were on time but didn’t want to hang longer than was needed. But when you arrived and were in great spirits there wasn’t a funnier guy in our world. And if you had some shit going on at home, well it was best to get straight to the music.

Your talent was unique and as natural as it comes. When Pablo Cruise finally got signed “for real” by Jerry Moss, you had much to do with it. You might not have even known this, but when Moss pulled up in his limousine at our rehearsal space at the old heliport, he was on his way to Winterland to see his absolute favorite A&M artist Joe Cocker. I was a big Cocker fan too and you definitely had some of that same raw soul in you and that was it for Moss.

That you didn’t get to enjoy all the success Pablo Cruise enjoyed was more than a shame. For all of us. Another “never forget moment” was the night you called my house to tell me you had to quit the band. Cory and Dave were both coincidentally right there when the phone rang. “Whatcha Gonna Do” was just becoming our first Top Ten hit. It was surreal. But we knew the pressure you had been under with Patty not really wanting to share you with the guys. Out of respect for you we didn’t try to talk you out of it. It was just too heavy, period. The fact of the matter is, you were always irreplaceable. Whoever played your role just couldn’t fill your shoes. Your presence on stage was vital. I mean, we only had 4 guys. And two of them had to sit down to play! And the other guy was good looking and a great singer and a great guitarman, but he was pretty skinny. So center stage had a big hole without you.

That Jerry Moss gave you an opportunity to make a full budget record deal with Patty showed how important you were to A&M. I remember how proud you were of that project. You were working with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim. And you came through for your wife. I was sad for us but glad for you. That Cory, Dave and Steve hung tough and came up with a strong follow up album made it easier to move on for sure. (Surprised the hell out of A&M). But again, when it was time to tour, it would never be the same. In fact you could say that about each of the four of you. It was real chemistry with y’all.

When things didn’t work out commercially on your project with Patty and Pablo Cruise went on to some pretty good sized success, your support amazed me. Anytime we spoke, all you could say was how proud you were of those guys. Sincerely said, I know it. Your marriage fell apart and things were bad. Yet you were such a man about it. Never heard a negative word I’d like to think I would have handled things that well in your situation. I thought about that a lot when fans would ask me about you, which was often.

Ironically, I understand you more now than I ever could in the day. First of all, I’m quite a bit older so hopefully at least a little wiser. But I also have spent time in your native land, both Mississippi and Alabama. I fell in love with another soulful guy, from Tupelo, named Paul Thorn. I told him all about you, played him some of your stuff, like my first favorite PC tune “Sleeping Dogs” (remember). Y’all would have absolutely loved each other. (In fact I got to hang out with Joe Cocker a while back in Europe on a HLN tour and the two of you would have been cool as well, great guy.) Anyhow, to spend time in the Deep South with people you really know who have been there all their lives has been a special treat for this native New Yorker. It’s too bad we didn’t get to do that in Greenville.

I’m going to leave you with my all time favorite Bob& Bud story. When the band played Santa Cruz, which was as often as they would have us, you and I would mostly go together or at least drive home together after the gig. The other guys had friends etc. and wanted to hang. You and I wanted to get home to the wife (and kids for me). You always had some killer pot for the ride home and rolled cigar- sized joints. I’d always be driving and by the time we got to San Jose I’d be on Mars. We’d be talking a mile a minute, laughing or philosophizing or something. One night I was low on gas, less than ½ tank. The gas station in Santa Cruz we usually used was closed. I thought we’d make it anyway. So we went for it. We were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at about 2-2:30am and the car stops. In the middle of the fucking bridge. We’re both stoned and now stunned. I didn’t even understand what happened because I forgot all about the “gas thing.” So we get out and start pushing the car. We had to get all the way to the lookout point parking. I was so messed up that I wasn’t even nervous about the cars that would wiz by (nobody even stopped!) but was concerned about being busted. We laughed for a long time about that night.

Those of us who knew you, Bud, all heard you say at one time or another “Man, I love your ass.” You told me that every stony trip home from Santa Cruz and then some, even several years ago when you played at the County Fair. Well Bud, I’ve always loved your ass too. I’m so glad you were part of my life. You will be remembered fondly by all of us. Adios amigo, Bob Brown

A letter from Cory Lerios

To Bud Cockrell with great love From Cory Lerios

I first met Bud on the road somewhere in the South in 1972. He was playing with “It’s A Beautiful Day,” and I was on my first national tour with a little known band called “Stoneground.” We were opening for “Beautiful Day.” Stoneground was kind of all over the place musically and although it was a lot of fun to play in, it was nowhere near as tight as “It’s A Beautiful Day.” They were riding a big hit song at the time, called “White Bird,” and they were definitely seasoned players. I was a long time fan of the band and I’d heard they hired a new singer and bass player from Mississippi. Needless to say I was really excited to hear them. When they hit the stage there was David Laflamme on electric violin and vocals and there was beautiful Patty Santos singing her heart out, but the one that caught everyone’s attention was this new bass player/singer Bud Cockrell. The guy was ridiculous! He was playin’ and singing with more heart and soul than my whole band put together and there were eleven of us! He was really, really special!

After the show and a couple of drinks and what not (I’m being modest) Bud and I met and the energy between us was unforgettable. First of all, he was the funniest guy I had ever met and the most lovable. We exchanged phone numbers and said as a lot of musicians do, “hey man, we’ve got to get together and jam sometime.” Well when you’re on the road and you meet a lot of great players and you do say that a lot, but rarely do you follow up on it. Well I never forgot about him and when I got back to the West Coast, I did call him and said pretty much said the same thing….”hey man, we’ve got to get together and Jam.” As it turned out, both of us were restless and not really loving the bands we were in. This was late 1972 and Steve Price one of the great drummers on the planet, Dave Jenkins who was actually playing bass in Stoneground and I were planning to leave the band and start something new! Enter Bud....the timing was perfect!

I’ll never forget our first rehearsal. You have to keep in mind, Bud was coming off touring like a true “Rock Star,” making a lot of money, traveling first class, staying in the best hotels with a hit band “It’s A Beautiful Day.” Dave, Steve and I were coming off of pretty much the exact opposite. Making no money, staying in lousy hotels, traveling anyway we could get there….So there weren’t a lot of similarities in that area, but there was a huge bond, and that was our respect and admiration for each others talent!

Back to the first rehearsal…..Dave, Steve and I are anxiously awaiting Bud’s arrival. Bud was always on time when it came to rehearsals and like clockwork he shows up driving a beautiful brand new convertible Jaguar XKE, wearing a very expensive Leather Jacket with some kind of crazy fur collar on it, the top down with this amazing, perfectly groomed Sheep Dog named Spatz sitting shotgun! It was quite a site, right out of a movie!...also keep in mind Dave and Steve and I were all driving old Volkswagons….Needless to say we were a bit intimidated, but thrilled to see him!

He gets out of the car kind of like Elvis and says, “Boys,” he always called us Boys…..“This is my dog Spatz, let’s jam,” but let’s smoke this first! I don’t think I need to describe the potency of that joint! It was awesome!
So……. in the summer of 1973 we were officially a band. We all drove from San Francisco to Vancouver, Washington in my VW bus (bud left the jag behind) and found a club called the “Hayloft.” that would have us for 3 weeks straight, 4 hours a night. We called ourselves “Hambone.” Guess who came up with the name! Honestly, I didn’t even know what the hell hambone was, until I actually saw Bud do it. I never really have been able to do it like he did, especially when he’d take his teeth out and throw it down in front of a bunch of innocent fans!.... It was really funny, always!

When we got back to the Bay Area, we had all kinds of cool ideas, new songs and our bond was stronger than ever. We decided that “Hambone” was kind of a special name, but not necessarily right…so we became “Pablo Cruise.” From 1973 to 1977 we were pretty much inseparable. We rehearsed every day and night and forged ahead. In the winter of ’73 Bud became friends with an attorney named Frank Rothschild. He was good friends with a young stockbroker named Bob Brown. Frank and Bob showed up at one of our first shows in San Francisco and after the show Bob told Bud he’d be interested in getting involved with the band and helping us out.

Bob became the fifth member and the chemistry amongst Pablo Cruise was undeniable. We made 3 albums with Bud front and center and everytime that guy would go in the studio to sing it was magic. I mean it….Bud was no nonsense when it came to writing a song, performing a song and recording a song. Like I said he was always on time when it came to his music.

After releasing two very modestly successful records we finally got a hit with “Place In The Sun.” The first cut on that record “Place In The Sun” written by Bud had such a strong vocal, that when we played it for Jerry Moss, the M in A & M, I’ll never forget him going up to Bud and hugging him and saying, “you guys nailed it this time.” From that point on that record was destined and it did become a big hit. It was a really an exciting time, but it was also a very unsettling time for Pablo. Why? Because Jerry Moss loved Bud so much, he gave him his own record deal….I’ll never forget that day when Bud called to tell me he had to leave the band. It was a very difficult decision for him, but all of us kind of knew it was coming and we understood somehow, since his dream was to make an album with his wife Patty.

I knew then that Pablo Cruise would never be the real Pablo Cruise again. And you know 35 years later I still feel that way. Bud was not somebody you could replace. No way, no how! There was and always will be only one Bud Cockrell. You never had to guess where he was coming from, and when he was on and in a good mood, he was one of those people that could make you feel like you were the most important person in his life. The real beauty of Bud was he loved life in a real pure and simple way and when he was happy it was infectious! Like The Clown That Lives On Laughter and Pays for It After The Show Is Over…Bud was a true Rock and Roller! I know a lot of years have passed since I’ve seen or talked to him and I feel bad about that, but the years that I did spend with him will never ever be forgotten! Bud if you’re listening, I just want you to know I’ve always loved you, and I hope and pray you’ve finally found your “Place In The Sun.”

I think it’s a must to end this story of Bud with a couple of classic quotes!

One day Dave Jenkins and I picked Bud up for rehearsal in my VW bus…. He was living in this cool little cottage in San Rafael, California that had a stream in the backyard….He gets in the car and says, “Boys, I just shot a fish in my backyard with my 22! Call me stupid, but I really had to think about that, because at the time I didn’t know he had stream in his backyard!

Another time Dave and I went to pick him up for rehearsal and he was married to Patty at the time…he gets in the car and says, “Boys you’re lookin’ at a man that just came 9 times.” That’s messed me up to this day!....I’ve been trying to break that record for the last 36 years! I’ve never gotten close! God Bless You Bud…..you are a blank, “ucker”

Last but not least…..Bud would always call me when he had a great idea for a song. It didn’t matter what time of day…One night late, very late, he calls me and says, Cory I’m writing a new song, I’m not sure it’s right for Pablo, but it could be great for a country artist…I say, “cool, what’s its called,” He says, “Get your tongue out of my mouth, ‘cause I’m kissing you Goodbye.” I don’t know if he ever finished that one, but somehow the title alone says it all!

To Know Him Was To Love Him……….God Bless You Bud!


A Letter from Chris Johnson Athanasuleas

The loss of Bud is a tough one for all of us. I so vividly remember standing in front of the stage watching Bud belt out "Rock and Roller". I was totally and completely mesmerized (remember that weird thing he did with his tongue!).

Thanks guys for giving that song back to me. I play it over and over, bumping the volume up a little each time and the memories keep pouring in...so many fun times together. Kathy & I were the best groupies you ever had, and still are...pretty wonderful after all these years that we've stayed so close.

A few short years ago Bud came to the ranch in Santa Barbara for the weekend. John and Leo loved him. Leo and Bud prayed together. We went for a long hike which I know wasn't easy for him at times. He had already had some health issues but was determined to get better, get healthy. A couple of months ago I drove to Mississippi to his home. He showed the same determination in spite of his declining health...determined to make it better. He had heard about a cruise ship that was equipped with dialysis machines and was ready to go!

If Bud loved you, he told you that he loved you... again and again. We all know he had soul but he also had a big ol' heart. Sure he was cantankerous at times but, hey...he was an artist. He was also a gentleman, a real southern gentleman... especially to the ladies...especially to me. He was one of very few who always called me "Christina". This was Bud's "Southern Charm" at work and it sure worked on me, then, now and forever.

On Thursday I'll be joining Bud's Mother and 2 sisters, Rita and Dottie, in Greenville Mississippi for Bud's funeral. I'll read the letters you've sent and I will play Bud's music. I am very honored to do this.


Click here to view some very intimate videos provided by Chris


A letter from David Jenkins

Bud, my dear Brother,

I'm gonna miss you. I have missed you. As I listen to the recordings we made so long ago, I'm amazed at what we had. What an amazing chemistry we had between all of us. It was a great band and we did make some great, from the heart, inspired, kick ass music. You brought such raw soul to our sound. I remember some times when we were learning guitar/bass lines, how it might take a little time to get it, but once you had it "under your fingers", as you used to say, there was no one on earth that could play it with more feeling. That's what you have always been about, Bud.... feeling. You felt things in this life more intensely than anyone I have ever known. I remember how you could express yourself with just a look or a sigh or a word and I'd know exactly what you were conveying. We shared some of the best times that musical brothers could have ever had. It was a magic time back then anyway, with all the experimentation that was going on in music, in alternative living, coming up with the baby boomer generation, the newness of our age of freedom, the experience of coming to California for the good life. What an amazing time. We were living the dream.

I'm so proud of having known you so well, Bud. Proud of what we accomplished together. Oh yes, there were times I thought we'd kill each other. There were times I wanted wring your neck for being such a belligerent jerk, and I know you wanted to do the same to me, but we never went for it. I think we were both afraid of what we might do to each other. Or maybe we were just smart enough to know we didn't really want to hurt each other. In the end, I just found myself full of forgiveness and love for you. And in the end, that's what I felt from you. The rough times seem to pale in contrast to the incredible highs and moments of wonderful inspiration. We sure did experience a lot together as a group, as brothers learning how to communicate, and as individuals searching for ourselves. You have always been in touch with the spirit, Bud, in your own way, as some of your lyrics clearly suggest, and now, now you are spirit, and your spirit has joined with God and this is your essence, and now as I Look To The Sky, knowing that you're there... in the clouds, in the wind, in the stars, and smiling down from the Heavens, it makes my time here a little more comforted. Lord, Thank You for Bud Cockrell, a true Soul searcher and a true Brother.

One more thing, James Ray. We'll all be seeing you again soon enough. Who are we kiddin'?!! Maybe you could have 'em all tuned up and ready when we get to play again. We're gonna kick ass.

I Love You, Brother Bud

Skinny Binny


A letter from Steve Price

Bud Cockrell was one of the most unique individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. You always knew what was on his mind and he never ever held anything back.

I will never forget the first time I saw him on stage. I was just amazed at his talent. He never held anything back on Stage, in his life or his communications ever.

He had a way with situations that was like none other. I remember when we were all holed up in a house in Vancouver Washington. We were just starting out and I had just come out of the shower, all squeaky clean my hair all perfect, sitting at the Kitchen table. Bud walks in; see me sitting there, looks at a bowl of fresh ripe tomatoes sitting on the table. He proceeded to pick one up and launch a perfectly placed fastball right over my head. The tomato splattered all over the wall, and dripped all over my head. That was Bud.

I was even more amazed when I was blessed with the opportunity to play music with him. He was truly one of greatest Bass players this drummer has ever played with. He and I had an unspoken understanding musically. We had a bond that was truly special, one that will never be repeated and one that will never be forgotten.

I have, and always will, miss playing music with Bud.

The memories I have of the concerts that we performed together, and the music we played together, are indelibly etched into the fondest memories I have.

I will never forget them or Bud. All he was one of the greatest of all time the world will miss him.


A letter from Kathy Ojjeh

Dear Cory, Steve and Dave,

I just want you all to know that I’m thinking a lot about you. I imagine your hearts are navigating through time, reeling in all the great memories and times with Bud. I have several fun memories as well, but they pale in comparison to the volumes you can all write about the years of growth and passion you all shared for so long. I will keep Bud’s memory in a very special place in my heart and can hear his voice singing as if he were standing right here in the room – truly unique and unforgettable in every way!

I send you all my love and deepest wishes for your comfort at this sad time,
Kathy Ojjeh

A letter from The Frederick's

My deepest condolences to all of Bud's family and friends. I had the honor of being Bud's friend and band mate for many years. The last years were very hard for him and he missed playing music so much. Bud had one of the greatest voices I ever heard, was a prolific song writer and full of mischief. We had a lot of great experiences and even more fun. He will always be a part of our family and his music will live forever in or hearts. Rest in peace my friend.

Greg and Allison Frederick


A letter from Angelo Rossi

From the record album, "New Beginnings" - 1978 title track. Listen to Bud's voice on the first verse. The way it's recorded, the level, the compression, the microphone placement. In my humble opinion, stunning is what comes to mind. Enjoy!

Angelo J. Rossi

Play -> New Beginnings


Others Reaching Out to Honor Bud Cockrell


Really sorry to hear of his passing. When we are in Stinson Beach this summer we'll hike into the hills behind Shangri La and say a prayer for the boy.

Anthony Simpson
Co-Head of Global Business Development
10 Bruton Street
London W1J 6PX


Cory, Dave and Steve so sorry to hear of Bud's passing. Anything I can do to help with a memorial would be a honor. It is amazing it has been over 35 years ago you guys started playing the Town@Country Lodge. You need stories I have plenty.

Robert "Crow" Van Antwerp

I met Bud in I think in 74 when I booked this club in the Santa Cruz mountains the T&C Lodge.
Of course like everyone, you knew you were meeting this person that was like no one else.
I would book P.C. because they had a piano and whom ever was the headliner would need a keyboard. So I would call Bob say hey you guys want to open for(?) and can they use the piano.
Bud and I became fast friends since I lived next door to the club and always had a bud or two to share. Around 77 Bud would call and say I'm leaving the Cruise(right you are going to leave a band thats about to break huge) call me when you come down dude. Fast forward late 78 and Bud called and said O.K. Crow are ready do this thing.I need you to help get this going, it's going to be huge. I find myself in a Rohnert Park rehearsal hall most of the time with just Bud and me. I would go out to get us something to eat and when I came back Bud would say listen to this song I wrote while you were gone. I was sure it was the best song I had ever heard except the last one he may have written. My wife Nancy and I have always loved and respected Bud and we always will. Much love to all his friends and family, Robert Crow

Well when I got an email from Dave Jenkins and the subject line read "Bud Cockrell", I just instinctively knew it wasn't good news!After speaking to Dave and Cory and hearing about the horrors that Bud has had to endure over the past 2 years I am thankful that the good Lord has taken him away.

I'm sitting in the airport in Oakland right now after spending a week in Sausalito working on a project there and funny enough Sausalito always takes me back to the 70's and producing Pablo Cruise and all the guys living in Sausalito and the early dreams and thoughts of us all. I also remember this wonderful guy who was one of the funniest people and one of the most soulful people I've ever had the pleasure to work with in my 40-year plus career.

Although the record I produced, "Lifeline" wasn't as successful as the one that followed there are still some amazing tracks that I'm sure will totally endure the test of time for us all and Bud Cockrell was definitely a big part of that!Plus it was the early days of my career and I was working at the Sound Factory in Hollywood where I had done some amazing records already and was ready to do another one with them.

I've managed to stay in touch with Dave and Cory after all these years but I sort of lost touch with Bud when he went down south. As Dave Jenkins said, the world has lost a wonderful soulful singer and entertainer but most importantly we've all lost a lovely human being.

Love you Bud and I will miss you for sure!

Val Garay


Wow, what a loss!! It's been 40 years since I saw him. He used to join a group of us Greenvillle hippies at the old red barn west of Greenville. He'd sit around sing, we'll all get in the party mood, and sometimes he's slip out his "bridge" because it was causing him problems. He sung to two of our tapestries - one was pink and white swans and the other was raging buffalo. Love you Bud.

Cindy Branscome Owens


Suzi Vinci Carmichael CA

Just stopping by to remember Bud....He has gone home to be with the Lord....and those that preceeded him, he will forever be a Rock N Roller. Our prayers are with his family and with Cory, Dave and Steve. All our love, Tom and Suzi


Rita Frazie writes:



Uncle Bud,

Yesterday ,March 11, we laid you to rest and Thanks to your loving friends Cory, Steve, Dave, Christina, among others we were able to share some laughs through all the tears.

My first memory of you is when i was 5 years old you came to visit us, you and the guys were in town for a concert, you were leaned back in a chair wearing a blue Hawaiian print shirt, white shorts, and flip flops playing and singing Rock and Roller. I was so mesmerized, I don't think I was ever that still before or since that night,lol.

You will be missed every second of every day until we meet again!

Thanks for all the love, laughs, music and memories,




When I read that you were gone I thought no way, it can't be true. When Cory confirmed that you had indeed passed I realized that a piece of me was gone.

I will always remember the first time I heard you sing. It was at a friend's house, and I really had no idea who you were - just a guy I met at a bar. You sat down at his piano and sang "It's Only Love and Love Will Come Again" - Needless to say I was blown away.

I remember you asking me one time if I would love you if you were not a musician and I said I would love you if you worked in a gas station, that was true. But the essence of you was your music, you would not have been you without it. You lived it, breathed it. I remember being in a restaurant and you overhearing someone say something that gave you an idea for a song and writing it on a napkin - or staying up all night trying to put words to a riff that you had come up with.

Your southern charm, big heart and fierce (sometimes scary) loyalty were hard for any woman to resist.

You always stayed in my heart.


My heart goes out to his sisters and daughter.

  The day they told me you were gone uncle bud was a hard day. Unlce Bud was sooo funny. He was so talented in his music. He would always when i was around just come up with amazing lyrics.. it wowed me haha It was so natural. Uncle Bud has been such and inspiration on me. I look up to him and strive to be as talented as he was one day. I hope when my bands first album comes out i can thank my unlce bud and dedicate it to him for the inspiration and guidance he provided. Youll never be forgotten uncle bud :) Im going to carry on your name!!!

From Bryan (Turner)

A letter from Richard Somers

How can I not add something....this is a sad day to learn this. But, some of my greatest memories...I gotta do this free form;

...I first met Bud in a Volkswagon bus, or some van, with David and Cory. Goin to play in Berkely from Point Richmond, they had just started a new band...197x's, early...David said come and live in Sausalito "cuz I am in a band and makin 600 bucks a month".....I tagged along and witnessed the beginning days of Pablo Cruise as young man in awe....many of us . Days of our prime youth awash in the music of the 70's following the awesome soundtrack of the sixties. We were hooked on music and these buddies of mine were about to make it big. When Bud was in his prime, and he had that primal scream of his while layin down the Bass lines singin "Everyone of us needs a holiday..." Not many people could repeat just how he sang that line and made it fit...he was doin soul. He wasn't linear, the path was created as he went.

I watched and held down the fort as these guys traveled together for months at a time building their sound and becoming what they were...then, drivin' in a car in Sausalito with the radio on just so we could listen in to the first number one Pablo Cruise song on the radio every 15 minutes in rotation. But Bud left early....
From the first time I knew Bud, he was a true music guy. Yeah, sure,I stayed up all night with him once, and it was all about sharing...ahem, music as his voice towered above everyone. He just never stopped being about music. Certainly cut from a different cloth than me. But he dug the country stuff, sat and watched me play mandolin all night in Chico...the man was all about music....we always got along, and he always brought up that night in Chico when he thought I played my mandolin ass off. I was very proud of that! that I got that validation from Bud. To have him like your music was for him to say you had soul. That meant somethin to me, he talked from the heart through his songs....and now I am saying goodbye to another one from my time...and now, the people that were there with me at that time have started talking like our fathers about a time that has distanced us by 4 generations.

Bob, Steve, Cory, Chuck and brother Dave I am sorry for this loss. I know in your heart Bud was part of the real time of Pablo when you guys felt like taking on the world, all you guys awesome players who played songs in the story of my life. The original chain...

Good bye Bud, may your family and everyone "hear "me share in how you impacted me in music by playin from the heart. Leavin's just leavin...ain't no good time. I don't need a video to remember watching you, its tattoo'd in livin color. I was there, I saw you play...


A letter from Pablo Cruise's first attorney: Frank Rothschild

My favorite Bud Cockrell story (I have many) is about how and when I first met him. You see, Bud was my first ever client. After graduating Georgetown Law School in 1970, I clerked in a federal court for a year in D.C. and then fled west to the San Francisco Bay Area (after reading “The Electric Koolaid Acid Test” I wanted to be at least figuratively “on the bus”). After passing the California bar and spending a few months working with a solo practitioner in Lake County learning the ropes of practicing law, I set up my own practice in a wing of my house halfway up Mt. Tamalpais on Panoramic Highway. Knowing absolutely nobody in Marin County, I signed up with the Lawyer Referral Program run by the bar association and sure enough, within a week or two I got my first referral. All I knew was that someone living in Stinson Beach wanted to get divorced, and given the fact my office was the closest to that beach community tucked into the very edge of the continent, I got the gig. How I fussed and fretted the night before trying to decide what I should wear for my very first client appointment. I certainly couldn’t wear jeans and a tee shirt, as I usually did around the house, but a coat and tie was also out of the question. I settled on nice slacks and a real shirt. What a waste of time that turned out to be.
I heard the car come up the driveway. It was an old Volvo. Out stepped Bud: torn jeans, long sleeved blue cowboy shirt with funky embroidery, tons of turquoiseeverywhere, and long scraggely hair. Within fifteen minutes we were smoking a bomber and beginning what turned out to be a long and loving friendship. He had been married back in Mississippi to a woman named Dixie (about whom he wrote his absolutely best song in my view, though he insisted on keeping it to himself) and wanted to make official their long-standing break up so he could marry the woman he had come to California with, Patty Santos. He told me all about the band he had just thrown in with, including some members of Stoneground (a local, bay area group I had heard of). He invited me come listen to the band at Keystone Berkeley, where they were about to play. I was blown away with the music of Pablo Cruise.

Little did I know how my life and those of the band members would change because of this serendipitous meeting. But those stories are left for another time (and already mentioned in some of the letters already posted) . What I want to say right here and now is that Bud was one of the most delightful and unpredictable human beings I’ve ever met. He was so real, so fun, so kind, so stubborn, so loving, soooooo musically talented. I loved every minute I ever spent with him, the last being a few years back when the band came to Kauai, where I live, for a gig. I am incredibly saddened by this loss. Bud, wherever you are out there in the cosmos, I love you buddy.

Aloha. frank rothschild


A letter from Bill Schnee

I met Bud very briefly in Los Angeles around 1973 when he was recording with the band “It’s A Beautiful Day”. They were recording in the studio next to the one where I was working. Our “meeting” was really more of a polite “hi there” among neighboring sessions and, as a result, I didn’t get to hear much of their music.

I later had the great pleasure of producing 3 albums with Pablo Cruise. I was first invited to meet and hear the band at the SIR rehearsal studio on Santa Monica Boulevard in 1975. They had just done a gig the night before and the band were all fairly tired (maybe from a little too much…. partying?). I sat in the back of the room watching and listening as they played me half a dozen or so bits of what would become songs. None of the “bits” quite moved me, but I sure do remember the bass player/singer… Bud. His bass playing and singing were incredibly soulful. His pocket with the drums was locked solid. When they finished playing the band all came and sat with me around the coffee table in the back of the studio. We all had a great time chatting and I saw right away what a funny guy Bud was. I made a rather abrupt exit that left the band with something to remember me by. I called Bob Brown the next day and told him I didn’t think the songs they had were ready to record yet. I offered to come up to the bay area and work with the band as they developed the material. Bob said, “Well, we’ll see”, but he never called me back. I soon heard from A & M they had decided to go with another producer.

Then about a year later, I got a demo of 4 songs from the band for their next album. I remember like it was yesterday putting the tape (yes, tape!) on the recorder and sitting down to listen. When the song “What’cha Gonna Do?” came on, I jumped up and said, “now they’re sure ready”! I believe the song “A Place in the Sun” was also on that tape. In both cases Bud’s bass playing and singing were stellar. I called Bob Brown right away and asked, “When can I come up?”

Pablo Cruise was such an interesting mix of talents…. Cory coming from a classical point of view, while David coming from an R & B slant, and Steve who could play anything. Then holding the bottom down was Bud with more soul in his playing and singing than any one person has the right to have! The “Place in the Sun” album was a very easy one to make. Every time Bud went out to do a vocal, I knew to fasten my seatbelt because something great was about to happen…. and it did!

I (like everyone else) was shocked to hear Bud was quitting the band just as the album hit Platinum. When we returned to The Record Plant the next year to record the next album, I noticed right away the difference Bud had made to the vibe of the band. We still had popcorn with Tabasco and parmesan cheese (thanks Steve!), but Bud’s persona was certainly missed. When we started tracking, his bass playing was definitely missed. His replacement was a nice enough guy, but his bass playing was not even in the ballpark with Bud’s. I had to bring up a friend from Los Angeles to do the recording sessions which, needless to say, didn’t go over that well with the new guy.

Pablo Cruise went on to enjoy a nice chunk of success and it’s a real shame Bud couldn’t have been there to enjoy it. The time in my life that intersected with Bud’s was rather short, but his imprint on me was very strong and distinct. People passing away is never fun for those left behind. The letters from the people above certainly testify to that. Those letters also show that Bud was greatly respected and loved…. and he will be missed.

Bill Schnee

A tribute from Jeff Reynolds on the day Bud is is laid to rest

TO: Bud & all his fans

Growing up in Greenville Ms. just as Bud did I must say, There were many things to do and then there was not so many things to do.

For those of us that were blessed to play or learn to play music, in Greenville Ms. we were able to not focus on the Not So Many things to do. The Desire to play Music took over and we pushhed on forward just as Bud did all his life.

Because I was a generation behind Bud and all those guys I was not able to know him while I was in Greenville. I did however, Hear of Bud and many stories of him. Most make me laugh even today. My older brother was in the radio industry in Greenville and turned me on to Buds work in It's A Beautiful Day, Pablo Cruise, Cockrell & Santos. I still have the early Pablo Cruise and Cockrell Santos ALBUMs YES ! I SAID ALBUMS.. Not cd ,not cassette, not 8trk.... oopps im dating myself now....

I like Most people feel the passion and soul in every note Bud sings. HOW can a person not feel that?

When Bud moved back to the Jackson Mississippi area from California approx. 8 years ago I was working with drummer Morson Emerson. Morson ( MO ) was one of Buds partners in crime since the beginng of their time. Mo introduced me to Bud and I will always be greatful to Mo for that. Bud was always very nice to me and usualy complimented my playing.

As a Guitarist and Pedal Steel guitarist , I was always partial to ONE Pablo Cruise song Bud sang. " LOOK TO THE SKY " The first time I heard that song I thought .... This one will have to be played at my funneral. I know it sounds morbid .
Because Mo introduced Bud and I ... I got to tell that to Bud to his face one night. I remember his reaction.... He said. " ! Man !, Jeff , NO ONE AS EVER TOLD ME THEY WANT ONE OF MY SONGS PERFORMED AT THEIR FUNNERAL "
I shared with him that the song is on a CD in my Safe Lock Box with the message
" Look to The Sky " MUST be played at Jeffs funneral.

I miss you Bud. As I write this tears are flowing from my eyes just as the music flows from your body Man WE Miss you. I feel like some of the others said last night at your visitation ... " I wasn't there enough for you " I heard and shared those words with several of your friends.
AGAIN, WE MISS YOU . WE WIll ALWAYS Miss You. Thank God We have you on discs, computers, albums, tapes, our minds and in our hearts.

I want to share some lines of songs that Bud Sang. Mo and I have said these lines many times and I hope we can share them for many more years and one day be with Bud to continue sharing them.

song line

Look To The Sky There Ain't a Thing to be afaraid of
Fears a waste of time
Look to the Sky
And Every Thing Happens For A Reason
In Your Life
Now You might go at any time
Fall dead in your front yard
Might go which you might not
Have a dime
But That Don't Make Who You Are.

Tearin Down My Mind Every Thing Their Building up
Is Tearing Down My Mind


Today March 11,2010 We lay you down. It's a BEAUTIFUL SUNNY DAY in Mississippi. Look To The Sky, There aint a thing to be afraid of, Fears a waste of Time, And everything happens for a reason , In your Life.

May we be together again one day.

RIP Bud,

Jeff Reynolds

Dear Bud,

A Letter To Bud and Family from Beaky Buzzard

Our last conversation, a year ago brings me to write this. You were the gracious, charming, Bud, and I was the sheepish, "Beaky Buzzard", asking forgiveness, and to make sure that we were both on the same page. You assured me that we were and that our relationship was mutual, one of admiration and respect. I felt relieved and invigorated. Thanks my friend for that acceptance and forgiveness. Absolution is good. However, now that you are gone, there is this musical and emotional turmoil in my heart. Did I do enough for Bud? Was I a true friend and confidante? Was he being honest or just gracious, again? I digress.

When you had made up your mind to leave Pablo Cruise, you and I had already become good friends. Cory told me to go for it. With his blessings I proceeded. Then, I met Pattie and the Russian Wolf Hounds at your home in Santa Rosa. I walked into your home and sat at the table with you and Pattie, and I remember vividly, the, "Old Yeller" odor was overpowering. I tried to ignore it. My eyes were watering, remember? You looked at me and said in that slow, southern drawl with a big grin, "What, you never been on the farm, boy"? You took me outside and fired up a fatty and we walked around the ranch. You introduced me to your chickens, your hog, "T-Bone" the steer, each affectionately as if they were your children. You painted the dream for me as we sat on your porch and played acoustics, trading licks back and forth. We sounded so good together, but in reality, it was all you. I was just your foil, with the quick hands and the fancy licks. You were the meat and potatoes, the real deal. I spent that evening with you and Pattie, playing music under the stars in front of a fire pit. We all knew that it was going to be good. We knew it. It was then that we hatched our plan and began our musical journey, together.

So, I introduced you to my friends, Michael, and the ever dynamic and entertaining, "Benny" and we started putting our dream together in Glenn Elen. When the momentum grew to a peak, and we showcased for Jerry Moss at S.I.R. in San Francisco, it was a musical dream come true. The band, the recording contract, the musical family that we all wanted. And then, the search for a producer and the making of "New Beginnings" with Bob Monaco at the helm. As much as I understand about first efforts, we were light years ahead of most. Then, meeting Jaco, Flora and Airto on that first day at the studio was an eye opener and it was, dream on. Those were pretty heady days. Days filled with visions of a tomorrow founded on the shoulders of you, Bud, your voice, our ringmaster and tour guide. Damn, that was fun!

You kept us all entertained, comfortable and guided us through the process. There were some bumps in that road. It was not all fun and games and we tested each other. But, we learned how to work together, we could make the music work for us and all the while we had our vision our pact from that original night under the stars. We came back to the Bay Area and put a kick ass band together, our only glaring deficiency and achilles was not having a strong and trusted Manager. I begged you to ask Bob Brown to guide our destiny as only he could. That was the piece of the puzzle that we just could never agree on, Bud. I tried, I pleaded, I begged you to help us help ourselves, but to no avail. In the end, sadly, it became our undoing.

I had moved my family to Glenn Elen to be closer to you and Pattie, remember? To be closer to the music, but we were starving, literally. At one point, both my wife and I were in the hospital at the same time, both suffering from dehydration and starvation. I had to send the kids home to their grandmother, and that was when it hit me. Back to reality. Dream over. You have no idea how bad that hurt. How hard it was to call you, with tears in my eyes and a hole in my heart the size of Mississippi. Without a contract, and no work, I could not continue to be there for you, Pattie and my musical cohorts. I could not continue to develop our dream as it was now, gone. With my tail between my legs and my ego shattered, I skulked back to my fathers home, broken and busted, to try and regroup.

I lost contact with you. I was informed by my friends that there were no hard feelings, but in reality, you would not talk to me and we drifted so far apart. When Pablo Cruise asked me to join, I eventually had dubious honor of trying to cover and sing, "A Place in the Sun." I did my best, but for heavens sake. Sing like Bud? Come on! No one could handle that chore. Remember the Marin County fair? That was my first gig as a member of the band that you, Cory, Dave and Steve founded. You were there! How awkward that was for us both. You were supportive and kind to me, but I could tell that you were hurting, that you were in emotional turmoil. I digress.

Hey Bud, do you remember how I use to roll those big fat doobies back in the day, right? I was the designated band twister if I recall. I came into the rehearsal hall that one day and you were smiling and all excited. You announced, "Hey Ange I figured out why your joints unravel at the end". You were so excited by this revelation that I was struck by the glee in your voice. "You are licking the glue completely off of the papers"! "You need to eat more boy"! Let's go have some mexican food, I'm buyin!". How true that was, Bud, but I could never have told you how hard it was for me and my family. How painful and how much it hurt to lose you, to lose our dream to lose my musical family.

Now that you are gone, I find myself in that same place, where nothing else matters and the catharsis of these words are my only solace. It's not enough. I miss you. I wish you your place in the sun, a much better place and I will never, ever, ever, give up the dream. Thank you, Bud, Pablo and to the wonderful family of the good ship Pablo Cruise for all that you have helped me achieve and for the trust and confidence, the generosity and guidance that you afforded me.

With love, admiration and a dream still in tact, God Bless you Bud and remember, "Shoot low, they're riding Shetland ponies"!

Beaky Buzzard

A Letter from Pablo Cruise's Road Manager

It was 1970 and a friend of mine from high school and I went to The Family Dog at the Beach to see a band his cousin was playing with called "Stoneground". He said we could get backstage after the show and after going to see all the bands of the era at Winterland and The Fillmore and The Fillmore West and other places, I jumped at the chance. "Big Daddy" Tom Donahue's band was playing and my friend Leo's cousin Cory Lerios and Steve Price were the new guys to that band. I went back stage that night and after the show helped the only crew guy they had load out. He asked if I was coming to the show next weekend at some place or another and I said yes and he invited me to help load in and load out….that was Geoff Torrens. That was the beginning of my life-long career in the music business.

I thought it was wonderful, Sal Valentino had this circus of players including four women singing and it was quite a cool hippie kinda thing. The bass player dropped out and Cory and Steve got Dave Jenkins in there. The three of them anchored the rest of the group and we worked steadily, although not with much financial success. I even got to hang out and watch them and others make records in the studio and the backstage antics of the 1970's were pretty out there!

One day I heard that Cory, Steve and Dave were going to quit and go out on their own and I thought it was crazy to leave a touring band to start over. For about five minutes anyway, because after hearing them jam at rehearsal I realized that MY future was with them and I told them I would go with them if they wanted me too. Of course there was no money but a future with them as musicians was something I could see easily enough. They showed up one day with a bass player named Bud…..whom we all called "Buford", a name Bud hung on himself I think….and after one day in rehearsal, this guy who had been on the road with "It's A Beautiful Day" impressed me with his stage presence, his vocal delivery and his playing to the point that I understood why Dave was going to be the guitar player and why the guys had found this guy from the other side of the world to play in their new band. The rehearsal space we had at the Heliport in Sausalito is still standing but in those days we were in a room supposedly once used as the Morgue. We had the 101 highway as a neighbor and could play 24/7 if we wanted to.

The band was really tight but until Bob Brown came on board as the Manager and started to pay for the gear the band needed to go on the road we were in limbo. Bob popped for new 24' bobtail, made the connections to "Monterey Peninsula Artists" as Agents and eventually it lead to an A&M Records contract and the guys were off and running.

We used to make show tapes right off the mixing console but in small venues, the live sound from the stage usually meant that the bass and a lot of the keyboards were not in the "mix" except what bled into the vocal mics. Over the years I collected a lot of them and while I have given them to Dave whenever I have run across them over the years, I gotta tell you, Bud was one of those musicians who could deliver in the studio whatever his bass or his vocal demanded, but get him in a bar on Friday night in the hot summertime and the joint would bring out the best in him. Over the years we played in bigger and bigger venues, even football and baseball stadiums, but a few tapes from up in Sonoma at the "El Verano" or the club in Chico in those days or "Crabshaw's Corner" in Sacto or down in Santa Cruz at the "Catalyst" or a bunch of places were my favorites. The guys would get into the groove, the audience would hop on to it and for the next 90 minutes or so MUSIC was the common bond and everyone loved it.

The Vancouver, WA gig at the "Hayloft" was three weeks of paid rehearsal and the band that drove up there was not the band that came back and from that gig onward, those four guys had the communication onstage between them that a band playing for years and years yearns for.

Now Buford was no Angel, in fact he was a Trickster and a practical joker and was not a brooding or sad kinda guy. If someone hassled you, Bud was the kinda guy who would pick up a 2 x 4 and help to even the odds if you were outgunned. I don't know that I ever saw him fight with anyone, but nobody would mess with him without him getting right up in their face…he did not take crap from anyone.

This is the same guy who delivered "I'm A Rock 'n Roller" on a Saturday night in a bar with sweat running down his face and his hair wet and shirt dripping and you knew he meant it and you knew he was talking about himself….and he meant it.

I had a few of those tapes from the studio, some daily mixes of songs with work vocals and board mixes that the producers gave the guys to go home and listen to before overdubbing a solo or a vocal on I found awhile back. Dave stopped by and after lunch we listened in my car to one of them and Dave and I both enjoyed a couple tracks without vocals getting in the way of a bass track 50 feet thick and a mile wide that marched along with Steve's drumming at a furious pace! The phrase "Blue-Eyed Soul" could have been minted for Bud…he was that much in the groove.

I read Bill Schnee's letter and I have to add to it a little story. We were at SIR in LA and they had a stage about a foot high and the rest of the room had a coffee table and sofas around it and Bill had sat down to listen to the guys run through the songs and riffs they had yet to work up. When they came back to sit and talk to Bill, he was very complimentary, but if you know Bill…well, suffice to say that he is little off the wall himself. He said that he liked the tunes but he felt he wanted to see a little bit of "crazy" in the show. The guys looked at each other quizzically except for Bud who said simply, "Crazy? Yeah, we got crazy too!" and with that, tipped over the coffee table with drinks, ashtrays and pizza or something on it all over the floor!

Schnee totally enjoyed that "performance" after the dry and business-like rehearsal he had seen and when he came to the shows he saw that the energy and delivery this guy at the center-stage mic had was….really something and I think Bill was at that very moment convinced he wanted to work with these guys.

Bud had problems with home and just when a top-three single called "Whatcha Gonna Do" was all over the radio that summer he pulled the plug. The biggest hit the band had was written on a Wurlitzer piano in the Holiday Inn in St. Louis by Cory and that was Bud's swan song as he soon left the band. You don't replace a singer, a bass player (who could sit at the piano and hammer out a melody by the way) and a presence onstage like that overnight. The guys never DID replace him, they just got other musicians to play or sing, but nobody ever REPLACED Bud Cockrell!

I saw him only a few times over the years, but if you were a friend of that guy, he would put his arms around you and hug you and smiled at you and you were glad he was back….if only for awhile. I wish they had had some way to get back to play together over the years but it just did not happen. I would have loved to sit back at the front of house console while Greg "Martini" Price mixed the show and watch the audience dig those guys like they did and I did for the time the original "Pablo Cruise" was together.

There are a lot of stories you won't hear about Bud, but I can tell you that he was a funny, talented guy who made it from Greenville. Mississippi and who returned full circle to Mississippi before he passed away. What more can I say except that he left some great records, some good memories and a lot of friends behind when he left up….

Rest In Peace, Brother…..

Chuck Lutz
Road Manager