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So Long, Friend - Saying Goodbye to Smitty...

 In times such as these, it's difficult to find the proper words.  Sometimes, it doesn't take words at all...but I will try.

Picture courtesy Paul Revere...I feel I speak for everyone when I say that I miss Smitty.  When they made him, they broke the mold--What a unique and funny little guy!  He was someone I wish that I could have met years earlier, but somehow, I felt like I had already known him for years.  He was that kind of person.  Sort of like finding a long-lost brother that you never knew you had.  I'm thankful for the time that I did know him and I will cherish it always.

This page is for all of you--Fans, friends, family in Raiderdom.  Herein you will find as much information as I have been able to gather regarding this tragic event, along with personal tributes from other fans and friends.  If I have missed anything or you care to submit something, please email me:  I will get everything posted on here as soon as possible.

Thanks and much love to you all,
*¤* SmittyGirl *¤*

The Articles

AOL News Brief
Associated Press Release
West Hawaii Today Feature
"Mike 'Smitty' Smith" courtesy Neal Skok
Portland Tribune Article
Sundazed Records Tribute

Honolulu Star-Bulletin Article  
The Big Takeover Feature courtesy Alex Hart  
Oregon Live Article
Abbeyrd's Beatles Page News Brief
Goldmine Feature
Hawaii Tribune-Herald News Brief
The Louie Report

Picture courtesy Paul Revere...

Banner courtesy Carol Cox...

Smitty Tributes

Paul Revere Remembers Smitty
Mark Lindsay's Letter to Smitty
 The Kona, Hawaii Memorial
The Portland, Oregon Memorial
The Memorial Guestbook (an archive) 12/01/02

Personal Tributes

He was a musician, songwriter, family member, friend and hero. Why would a peaceful, happy person be called away as he was? Only One knows, but it was time.  He will be missed by many people for many reasons.  We will all have memories whether we met him personally or not.  Let us reflect not only on the joy he brought us, but the joy he felt and is now experiencing.  I enjoy laughing, being around positive people and listening to what I consider good music.  He afforded me all these personal necessities.  I will always feel gratitude for this.  So, to you, Michael L. Smith, I dedicate this.  May you rest in peace and may we all find the peace you strove for while you were with us.

Rob Heiler
March 15, 2001

Picture courtesy Rob Heiler...
Smitty & Rob - August 1998

Picture courtesy Suzanne Parvey...

I was going down in my basement Tuesday, on my way to record a song a friend of mine had just written and we passed a box of records and the Brotherhood album was on top. Tom Murphy had given it to me when we were up in Portland for the Oak Park gig.  I told him that's me back in the day.  My friend pointed to Smitty and asked me if that was Paul Revere?  He didn't even have the right group, but being the gentleman that I am, I kindly said "No, that's Smitty, he's a great Guy!" I'm sure that pretty much anybody who ever knew or met "der Schmidt" has the same instant reaction when he crosses our minds. What a cool guy. He was a man's man, that women found irresistible. Phil called me later that night to tell me Mike was in a coma and then a short time later that he had passed. I've got a lot of stories about our times together on the road and in the studio, and I'll try to post one or two later, when I have time to get it straight. Michael was a big influence in my life and a friend and a brother, there are no words to express how much we miss him. The prayers of my family go out to his friends and family everywhere. Rock on Brother.

Drake Levin
March 9, 2001

DEAR PAUL, FELLOW RAIDERS & SMITTY'S FAMILY. I'm devastated by the loss of our friend and fellow bandmate, Smitty. He was such a gentle soul with such a wonderful sense of humor. I personally think that Smitty was the "peacemaker." He usually would wait patiently while everyone else in the band had their say, then with a stroke of genius timing he would calmly insert a few well-chosen words of wisdom - wisdom beyond his years like that of an old bearded man he often depicted on "ACTION," disarming the rest of us, and bringing good old common sense back into the equation. Sometimes he would just do something really funny out of left field leaving us in a heap of laughter, scratching our heads and wondering: "Who was that guy anyway?" 

Picture courtesy Janice Klemme...

Yes, Smitty had many interesting dimensions to himself. He was probably one of the most colorful, amusing guys I've ever met. He was also very kind to people, even strangers. He never wanted to miss an opportunity to jump into another person's world and find out what they were all about. When, Smitty, Drake & myself left the Raiders to form Brotherhood, we became like brothers. It was a very special bond, hard to describe here. We practically lived in the studio together, around the clock, and if not the studio, at one of our houses, or up in the mountains playing guitar and writing our music. Very special times indeed. Smitty was very young when he died - only 59. This is so tragic - he had so much more to give.  My heart goes out to his four children, Rory, Alexandra, Jenna, and Rio, and his parents, who are both still living. (Can't forget Brenda and Susie...) The next time I hear: "Grab your woman, it's Louie, Louie Time..." I'll have to smile and be glad that I had the wonderful opportunity to share the "glory days" of the Raiders with such a great guy like Smitty. He will be missed. He was loved by many. Goodnight Brother.

Phil "Fang" Volk
March 9, 2001

Banner courtesy Phil Volk...  Picture courtesy Charlene Kellenberg...
Smitty Collage by Charlene Kellenberg
(Click to view full-size image)

Picture courtesy Tom Calhoun...

Picture courtesy Tom Calhoun...

I was very lucky to be both a child of the 60's and the 70's. I was born at just the right time to bridge that gap. Part of that legacy was music and the 60's gave us note for note the greatest music ever made. Most point to the Beatles, Stones, Kinks and the Who, but here in America, rock meant the Raiders. Beneath the Revolutionary War outfits was disguised a true gem in the annals of American Music. In short, these guys kicked ass. Mark Lindsay's growling vocals, Paul Revere's Vox organ, Drake Levin's crunching guitars, the bass wizardry of Phillip "Fang" Volk and the pounding drums from Mike "Smitty" Smith. These Raiders went their separate ways in 1967 and Mark and Paul continued until 1975 with the likes of Keith Allison, Freddie Weller and Joe Correro. Paul still takes his "Madman of Rock n Roll" show on the road, but the mid 60's Raiders defined American Rock and Roll. Smitty was the one that would save the world. Why not peace? He was also one of the greatest of the Raider personalities. Smitty has moved on somewhere to that hall of fame in the afterlife. Thanks for the music, Smitty.

Tom Calhoun
March 27, 2001

Picture courtesy Suzanne Parvey...
Mike "Smitty" Smith - August 1997
(at an album signing outside Music Millennium)



Banner courtesy Katie Kintner...
Rest in Peace
Michael "Smitty" Smith

Your journey is ended and
peace has come at last.

We will always miss you.
MsMoo's UNofficial UNendorsed
Paul Revere & The Raider Fan Page

As a dedicated Paul Revere and the Raiders fan, I had to express my feelings over the loss of drummer Michael Smith, or "Smitty" as he was affectionately known. Though I never had the chance to meet Smitty, I've heard that he was a great man. He was also a humorous man, a kind-hearted soul and a talented rock drummer! While checking out both Paul Revere's tribute to Smitty on his website and Mark Lindsay's open letter on his webpage I got to see firsthand all the people that Michael had touched over the years. His loss is profoundly saddening, and I'm still reeling from the shock.

To Smitty's family, Paul, Mark, Drake Levin, Mike Holladay, Phil Volk and the rest of the "Raiders Family" you have my sincere condolences.

Here's to you "Smitty".

With deep respect,
Ron Lauback

At the "Ride to the Wall" ceremony, held in Washington DC on Memorial Day 2001, Raiders drummer Omar Martinez displayed this banner on his drum kit as a memorial to Smitty.

Picture courtesy Holly Losen...

Picture courtesy Holly Losen...

What few people may realize is that Omar worked in the Raiders with Smitty during the early 70s.  When Smitty left the band, Omar gladly and proudly took over and still carries that mantle to this day.

Sorry, your browser doesn't support Java(tm). I cannot explain my premonitions or clairvoyance.

I cannot explain what it is I do or how I do it.  My father's brother is a rocket scientist, with a Ph.D. in physics, and he says that human beings are made up of molecules and shed molecules all the time through their hair and skin, and by exhaling through their lungs.  He thinks I inhale the molecules of people I care about and somehow have the ability to “read” the DNA.  His explanation is as good as any of mine.

Usually, this ability just serves as a tracking beacon.  If someone I care about is within a hundred miles, I will flow to them, or they will flow to me.  I will "feel" where they are.  I frequently telephone people when then are thinking of me.

What I know of life and death is that there is something more to this world than our five senses reveal.  There is a God. There is a plan and a purpose for each of us.  And there is a life hereafter.

I knew Michael Smith just slightly.  He was kind to me.  I liked him very much.  And he was much loved by so many people, I know he carries that love with him still.  I know it.

I breathed in Smitty's molecules thirty-five years ago.  They are still within me.  As they are still within you.  

Barbara Moise Baker
June 2001

Its hard to believe its been an entire year since the world has been deprived of Michael Smith. Where DOES the time go? It passes as quickly as a rainbow fades, as a sunset turns into night. Both, however, are beautiful while they last and that pretty much sums up Smitty. He was, by all accounts, a pretty cool guy.

I first saw Smitty on Where The Action Is. I loved the fact that he was a little guy who was funny and he was cute, too. Smitty became my favorite but I was a fickle kid so I loved Drake first (til he went into the service), Mark and then Smitty. Smitty had a place of honor the others never achieved, his photo was in my locker in high school. Once, I made the mistake of giving a friend the combination to my locker. She got mad at me and stole the one thing she knew would upset me the most, my picture of Smitty. She denied that she had it but I knew she did. I begged her to return it and she finally did but it was in much worse shape. I was devastated but at least I had my picture back.

Banner courtesy Carol Cox...

Forward from 1967 to 1998 and the Hayward Zucchini Festival. I have the photos to prove that while I was trying very hard to line up a good shot of Smitty, he was watching me and probably amused at my efforts. (See SmittyGirl’s site for the results.)

Charlene and I deliberately got at the end of the autograph line, hoping to get some extra time with the guys. Smitty was standing in the booth, kind of to the back. I blurted out that I had had his picture in my locker in high school. He smiled shyly and looked pleased. I handed him my photo to sign and he wrote Love Smitty. I was thrilled. I still am. How cool to be able to tell someone you once idolized that he held a special place in your lifeand still does.

I still think he looked kinda like my Uncle Tony, though.

Regardless of whether the Raiders are nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Smitty will always have his niche in the best Hall of Fame there is, the hearts and minds of those who love and remember him. He left a legacy of memories and music. What more could a little guy from Portland ask for?

Carol Cox
March 6, 2002

More tributes to be added soon...