Interview with Lance Hoppen of Orleans

By Dave Carew

This Sunday night at 7:30 p.m., Orleans—world-famous for its pop-rock classics “Still the One,” and “Dance With Me”—will present a very special “Orleans & Friends” concert at Mercy Lounge.

The concert is in honor of Orleans lead singer and co-founder Larry Hoppen, who passed away suddenly on July 24. All net proceeds will benefit the Hoppen family, especially Larry’s teenage daughters, Maeve and Claire.

The show, for which the band is asking a $20 donation at the door, also will be streamed LIVE online starting at 8 p.m. CT. Cost for this live stream is “pay what you can,” with the take-you-right-there link to the stream being

In our exclusive (edited) interview with Orleans co-founder Lance Hoppen, we asked the musician about this very special upcoming concert:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: What are your feelings as you look ahead to this concert?

LANCE HOPPEN: It’s a mixed bag. On one hand, the cause for the event (a benefit for the survivors of my brother’s death) is no happy backdrop. The wound, while healing, is still fresh to all of us who knew him, loved him, worked with him. On the other hand, the coming together of such talent to celebrate his life is extremely exciting to me.

UN: Why are you especially hoping friends and the Nashville public will come out to support you and Orleans that night?

LH: The first and foremost reason anyone should come to see this show is it’s going to be a KILLER night! It’s not just Orleans; it’s Jimi Jamison, John Ford Coley, Jonell Mosser, Kathie Baillie & Michael Bonagura, Bill Lloyd, Alyssa Bonagura and Pete Huttlinger. NO slouches there! And The Boy Wonder Blues Band is the bonus!

Secondly, Orleans rarely gets to play in Nashville (my home town for the last twenty-three years) at all. This is our last show of 2012 and, given the state of affairs with Larry’s passing, this may very well be our last show ever, for all intents and purposes. It’s been forty years and maybe that’s enough.

Last but certainly not least, the aim of this show is to raise funds to help those who Larry left behind. Most of the business disarray Orleans was left with has been corrected over the past few months. The primary purpose of the funds raised will be to establish trust funds for his twin daughters (my nieces) for their 18th birthday, which is little more than a year away. It is for their sake that I humbly ask people to give generously.

For more information, please visit

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Dave also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.


Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.


Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew


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