LP - From Yellowcard to St. Aug

Longineu Parsons III

A Man of Music

by Ward Hughey

This past New Year’s Eve while trying to decide what I would do for the night I learned of a jazz trio playing Stogies Cigar Bar. I chose to check it out and spent the night in a smoky room amidst enamored listeners. We all enjoyed the music, but most of all we were glued to the man on drums. This extremely talented individual was someone I had to meet. With help from friends Amy Powers of Awake Late Group and Dorothy of Bokeh Bar Gallery I was able to sit down with him for conversation.

One could say Longineu Parsons III, known to many as LP was born in music. His father Longineu Parsons is a well-known trumpet player. His parents met on the road and while in France LP was born. The first drum set he sat behind belonged to famous drummer and family friend Max Roach, “Uncle Max” to LP. Along with being in the world of music through family LP fondly, and with laughter credits MTV as part of what fueled him playing rock. “I watched Beavis and Butt-head twice a day and then Riki Rachtman on Headbangers Ball. That was my thing and then I discovered Pantera.” Being influenced by different genres LP says helped him become the drummer he is today. “I incorporated my jazz and my rock playing together and my funk playing. I put it all together.”

While LP has lived many places his family has always been home in Jacksonville, FL. It was there that he met Ben Harper, a friendship that led to the punk rock band Yellowcard. From late

90s on the band grew from local act to globally known. LP was with Yellowcard until 2014, and while we talked he spoke of fond memories. One in particular was meeting Dave Grohl. LP shared how he waited after a show for this opportunity. The positive impression made when they met was only solidified upon seeing each other again after the movie awards and Dave remembered him.

Being a fan of Yellowcard I could have fan-boyed over this topic for a while, but I wanted to learn more of who LP is both behind and away from drums. We discussed the Mustang he got in 2003 and car racing that followed. Today he enjoys riding motorcycles. He also shared that since moving to St. Augustine 5 years ago he has been going to the shooting range. This is something he finds therapeutic. We also spoke of mutual love for the Jacksonville Jaguars. During all this the conversation naturally kept returning to music.

LP spoke with excitement discussing what he is doing now musically. Staying true to his upbringing he is working in multiple genres. He keeps it in the family playing drums with his father in the Longineu Parsons Ensemble, Blujafunk and 21 Blue. Another band is Sailor Jane, which he mentioned with enthusiasm as being his first foray into reggae. He has also connected with popular St. Augustine based RAMONA. Then there is punk rock band This Legend which began in 2016 with buddy Ben Harper. They have been quiet of late, but LP says more music is coming. Last, but certainly not least is the trio I saw New Year’s Eve named LPIII. Consisting of keys, bass and drums the group is playing out more at Stogies, Prohibition Kitchen and other venues in the North FL area. I recommend keeping up with all these groups by following online and checking your local venue calendars. Stop reading and do that now.

As our conversation came to an end I thanked him for his time. LP left to prepare for a gig and I drove home thinking on all we had discussed. There is much more I could share, but I will end with some wisdom from the man himself. “If you keep building the same structure and you get knocked down keep building. Eventually you are going to build it right… it’s going to take you to a higher level.” I can only imagine these are words he has and continues to embody. We should all do the same. Thanks LP.

dave kosciolek