Missing Paragraphs from The N.Y. Times' Obit of LeRoy “Sugarfoot” Bonner

March 31, 2018

The great Ohio Players frontman and guitarist LeRoy Bonner

died January 26, 2013 at age 69. The following paragraphs were, inexplicably, cut out of the Times obit.

 

A family member said preliminary tests indicated Mr. Bonner had died from the residual effects of a lifetime addiction to funk.

 

“They said they had never seen a man with such a pronounced case of funk. It was everywhere. His clothes, his heart. All his major organs were covered in funk, just like the vocals, horn charts, and guitar riffs of the Players’ songs. Not to mention the album covers. Those covers were 100% funk.”

 

A source in the medical examiner’s office noted that most of Mr. Bonner’s funkiest work was recorded before the music video era, a fact that probably added years to his life.

 

“Look, if the band had made videos for ‘Fire’ or ‘Honey’ or ‘Love Rollercoster,’ it would have exposed Bonner and his band to dangerously high levels of funk. Remember, this was 25 years before internet porn. The average human couldn’t cope with that kind of funkiness back in the day.”

 

Symbolist poetry scholar Bernard Le Pretense noted that funk did not just consume the band’s sound and looks, but also their lyrics. “Just look at the opening lines of ‘Fire,’” Le Pretense said, pinching his nose and declaiming:

 

Hey, now, huh-huh
Hey, hey, hey, no, (Ow, now)
Hey, now, huh-huh
Hey, hey, hey, no

 

“As you can hear, it is really a cri-de-coeur for more and more funk,” Le Pretense explained.

 

Dr. David Stock of the CDC, and an avid record (“well, CD”) collector, expressed mild surprise at the longevity of funkateers. ”Frankly I’m a little surprised we haven’t seen more funk-related deaths. But I suppose the Eagles and Air Supply really cut down on airplay back in the 70’s. Which ruined radio but saved a lot of lives.”

 

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