Matt LaPorte, guitarist for Jon Oliva's Pain, R.I.P.
In Europe, Matt LaPorte was a star. Heavy metal fans thousands deep absorbed his racing guitar riffs and soaring sonatas for the band Jon Oliva's Pain.
At Seminole Music and Sound, where he taught for more than 15 years, LaPorte was known more for the way he cajoled and pushed his students to attain the same heights he had reached, usually while nursing a cherry-flavored Diet Dr Pepper from a 50-cent machine in the hall.
LaPorte, who was revered by metal fans locally and in other countries and was known for his sure-fingered mastery of the guitar and deep musical knowledge, died April 20, apparently in his sleep. He was 40.