Laneway filled with memories

Richard Lane’s partner Cathy Gavranich and the couple’s daughter Penny at the unveiling. Photo supplied

THE laneway behind Fremantle’s historic Artillery Drill Hall has officially been named ‘Richard Lane’ in honour of renowned musician Richard Lane. 

Following his death in May last year, Fremantle council proposed a tribute to the former Stems guitarist, approving it in time for the unveiling ceremony to fall on his birthday. 

The laneway holds immense significance for Lane’s family, with his partner Cathy Gavranich, fondly remembering the 2.5 years their music school ran at the hall before it transitioned from the Fly by Night club to Freo.Social. She described it as “wrapped in memories of him”. 

Intimate

“We did so much for the community in that space,” she said. 

The unveiling ceremony was a small gathering of Lane’s “closest family and friends. 

“We decided together to make it small and intimate, and a way that we could all hold one another and get through the day,” she said. 

Lane’s godson Adrian Hoffman played a touching tribute of one of the guitarist’s unreleased songs ‘Kitty’, which his family holds close to their hearts. 

“It’s one of the most amazing songs Richard ever wrote, but he never released it,” said Cathy.  

Mr Hoffman described performing in memory of Lane as “both emotional but also quite healing”. 

The couple’s 12-year-old daughter Penny had planned to unveil the lane’s sign as Adrian finished the song, but Ms Gavranich said it didn’t go quite as expected. 

“As he strummed the last note, the (covering) flew off on its own, it was like Richard did it,” she said. 

Mr Hoffman said: “We all felt his love and warmth, he was very much about the community and the event really had his essence of celebration and community spirit.” 

Cute executive

Ms Gavranich said their music school ‘Penny Lane’s Music Workshop’ was appropriately named after their daughter who can play no less than 13 instruments and has “been helping out teaching since she was six”. 

“Richard always called her ‘the cute executive officer’,” laughed Cathy. 

“All the students and families still say, ‘We feel like he’s here somewhere, around the corner just tuning a guitar.’ 

“Every inch of the place is infused with his spirit.” 

The school these days operates from Knutsford Street in Fremantle. 

Mr Hoffman said he hoped the laneway served as a reminder of “the beautiful soul he was”. 

“I’m just glad that the sign can brighten everyone’s day and that the community can be reminded of him,” Mr Hoffman said. 

Lane co-founded The Stems in 1983, as well as The Chevelles in 1989. His other projects include The Rosebuds, The Rosebud Generation, The On and Ons, The Morris Lane Project, The Painkillers and the Lazy Shavers.

by JORDAN PASSAUER 

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