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From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin...

Tuesday, March 13, 2001


Michael L. Smith,
former Paul Revere
drummer dies

By Rod Thompson

Michael Leroy "Smitty" Smith, 58, of Kona, a former drummer with the rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders, died last Tuesday in Kona.

Born in Portland, Ore., Smith joined the band known for its colonial-era costumes in October 1962, according to the band's official Web site.

"He was an enormous boost to the band's morale during the toughest times and was missed terribly when he left to pursue other endeavors," wrote band leader Revere on the site.

Smith left the Raiders in May 1967, one of numerous musicians who came and went while Revere himself remained the only constant member in the group, which continues to this day.

In 1965-1966 the group was featured on the ABC TV five-day-a-week network show "Where The Action Is," produced by Dick Clark.

"It required tons of music and talent. As the rhythm backbone of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Smitty kept the engine running," Clark wrote in a guest book on the Web site.

Smith's ex-girlfriend, Mia Kiemele of Kona, said he lived on Kauai and Maui at various times during the 1970s.

Kiemele met him in Lincoln City, Ore., in 1994 and they moved to Kona in 1997.

Although known as a drummer, Smith played other instruments and had several other pastimes, she said. "He loved to play guitar," she said. He also liked to fish, sail and paint.

Another Kona friend, Shelly Minick, said she knew Smith for the past two years and worked with him on an effort called Hot Lava Productions, which was as much a hobby as a business.

"He was the most fun-loving person," she said.

Smith is survived by two sons, Rory and Rio; two daughters, Alexandra and Jenna; his father, Howard Smith, his mother, Mildred Kugler; a brother Jerry, and a grandchild.

A memorial gathering with live entertainment for family, friends and fans will be held 2-8 p.m. Sunday at the Old Kona Airport State Park.

Back to the Memorial Page...   Back to the Mike "Smitty" Smith Page...