John Lamb, Published June 07 2012
Local blues guitarist found dead Wednesday remembered in song at Dempsey's
The 30-year-old guitarist died early Wednesday.
Musicians and fans gathered Thursday night at Dempsey’s to remember him in song. Conner was often featured at the bar’s open mic night, playing tunes by his idols, Otis Redding and Buddy Guy.
Conner’s group, The Moody River Band, opened for Guy this past winter at The Venue. The group’s drummer posted a picture of Conner watching his idol from the side of the stage, smiling.
“That was his best day, when he got to open for Buddy when he came to town,” drummer Corey Krueger said Thursday.
Krueger said Conner was selfless on and off the stage and would deflect compliments for his playing to other members of the band.
“Everybody can agree he was the kindest person in (the scene),” Krueger said. “And everyone can agree it’s strange to find someone with so much talent with so much genuine humility.”
Lt. Joel Vettel of the Fargo Police Department said Conner was at a residence and found unresponsive between 2 and 3 a.m. Wednesday. Occupants took Conner outside and called 911, but he could not be revived.
Vettel said he was still waiting for results of an autopsy and said the incident is still under investigation.
A gathering is scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m. Monday at Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo with a funeral service to follow.
Krueger and Pat Lenertz, who played with Conner in the local jam band Bad Mojo, said plans were coming together for a memorial concert to offset funeral costs.
Lenertz said he met Conner, who he called a “brother” and “best friend,” about 14 years ago when they both attended Moorhead High.
Lenertz said he’s been overwhelmed with how much people want to help.
“It’s amazing how many lives he touched,” Lenertz said. “He was so humble that he never realized how amazing and important he was.”