Mark Lamar Plopper and his wife, Chris "Pie" Plopper 

Dear Friends,

By this time, many of you have heard the news of Lamar’s passing. It’s taken us a while to write this as we try to wrap our heads around the finality of what’s been a several months-long, heartbreaking situation. 

Our hearts break for Pie and her family and all they’ve been through, and we send our love and prayers to them. 

Lamar’s love and understanding of music was awe-inspiring to everyone who saw him play. The respect he held for it immediately made the band rise and be better. He shared that energy with us every time we played together because he was as much a mentor to us as he was a part of the band. He showed us patience as we sometimes struggled to keep up with his endless creative muse. 

In the moments that it came together and the band was clicking, the look on his face said it all. If you happened to not see it,  you heard and felt it in what flowed from him while he was in that place. It was always beautiful and inspiring, many times mind-boggling, sometimes terrifying.

We lived for those moments on stage, as did Lamar. It made him the natural, magnetic center of the band that held it all together. His love, understanding, and ability all put a stamp on the band that was uniquely Lamar. And we’re lost without it. 

But Lamar would disagree with that. During our visits with him, he asked that the band carry on. We have, although begrudgingly at first. We know the Pilots will not be the same band without him. It will be different and the musical void will be there. 

Lamar was aware of that, but he also knew that underneath the hurt and the loss we’re feeling now, the healing was in the music. It’s what we’ve all chased from the time we picked up an instrument. It’s the gift Lamar freely gave us every time we played with him. 

Honored, humbled, grateful, lucky, and loved. We’ve felt all of those things immeasurably while making music with our friend. For him and for ourselves, we will do our best to find the healing in the music that he made so special for us in the short time we shared it with him. 

We love you Mark Lamar Plopper. Fly free. 

Paul, Brian, Jim, and John (and former “Bass” Pilot, Drew Hicks).