LOCAL LEGEND: Musician’s Death Has Big Impact | News
The news of Kelly Starrett’s death spread quickly across the metro. Starrett was a well-known musician who had been part of Des Moines’ music scene for decades.
“What do you say when a good friend of yours and band mate completely unexpectedly, you know? It was a just shock,” said Mike Ruby, a friend and band mate of Kelly Starrett’s.
Friends, family and band mates of Kelly Starrett’s are still trying to cope with their loss.
“This morning the numbness went away and it really hit,” explained Rich Cantrell, Starrett’s long-time friend and band mate.
For Mike Ruby and Rich Cantrell it’s still hard to believe Saturday was the last time they would ever play with, and see, their good friend and band mate Kelly Starrett.
“Who would have thought those would be the last words? You never realize that,” said Cantrell.
“Every gig I played with Kelly was just great. It’s nice to be on the stage and have everyone not just be a band member but be a friend,” said Ruby.
As a big part of Des Moines’ music scene for more than 30 years, it’s no surprise Kelly’s impact wasn’t just through his personality, but also through his talent. Friends say Starrett was a great drummer, guitarist and singer, and according to them, Kelly could really bring in the crowds, whether it was with the band, playing acoustically on his own, or taking the stage with his son.
“His drumming style looked like animal from the Muppets. Although he looked like he was spastic up there he was crisp,” said Matt Carroll, a close friend of Starrett’s.
For so many people, this loss will take a long time to sink in but no amount of time can erase the imprint Kelly, and his music, has made.
“He touched a lot of people with his music,” said Grimm.
“Kelly was a just a very down to earth person and especially someone as well-known as him and doing it as long as he had, he could have been full of himself but he wasn`t. He was down to earth. That is one thing I could take away from Kelly and strive to do myself,” said Ruby.
“I don`t think anyone could ever fill Kelly Starrett`s shoes,” Carroll said.
Friends say the local music community has really banded together to help Starrett’s family. The first benefit in his honor will be Thursday night at the Thirsty Sportsmen in Des Moines at 6:00.