One year ago this week, we were saddened to lose a local music legend. Rick Pinette was best known as the leader and singer of the band Oak.  According to his hometown newspaper the Berlin Daily Sun, Pinette died unexpectedly on Sunday, March 20, 2016. He was 63. My earliest memory of Oak was hearing them on the radio. When I was 13 years old in 1980, I was riding my Schwinn 10 speed on Murray Street in Augusta. I brought along a portable AM/FM radio so I could crank some tunes on the adventure. It was a Saturday morning. Most of the time I was tuned to WBLM, but on Saturdays I was locked on WIGY for American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. I remember Casey coming on and introducing King of the Hill by a band from Maine called Oak. Very cool! I thought they sounded a lot like Styx, who had a hit with Babe that year.

I first met Dan Caron in the mid 80s when he was working at Carroll’s Music Center in Lewiston. I believe he was a sales associate at the time, but there was nothing sale-sy about him at all. He graciously put up with me fiddling with all the latest synths in the keyboard department. Dan is one the nicest guys I’ve ever met and I am honored to call him my friend 30 plus years later. A few years prior to making aspiring young musicians feel totally welcome in that legendary Maine music store, he kicked major ass behind the drum kit in the band, Oak.

Here he is live on WBLM. Dan shares some great stories about his time working with the late, great Rick Pinette in the only Maine band to ever have a US Top 40 hit.

 

Here are some more fan, friend, and former bandmate reactions to news of his death.

Local Music Aficionado, Joe Royland

Oak drummer, Danny Caron

Maine Musician (and UMA classmate of mine) Dean Richardson

Bill O’Neil former record store owner and music archivist in Scarborough

WBLM will forever send our sincerest condolences of love and light to Rick’s wife Cheryl, his family, and friends.