January 2, 2012 – Rhino Reinhardt was born in Bradenton, Florida on July 7th 1948. In his early music career in the 60s he played with local outfits like The Thunderbeats and Bittersweet between Sarasota and Bradenton.
In those early days “El Rhino” was also a member of two Georgia bands… The Load (1967-69) with bassist Richard Price and drummer Ramone Sotolongo, performing mostly original, psychedelic blues-rock. When the the band landed a house gig in Gainesville, at a club called Dubs, Reinhardt evolved into joining The Second Coming (1969-70) with Duane Allman, Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley and Reese Wynans, who eventually went on to form The Allman Brothers Band, with Wynans joining Stevie Ray Vaughan.
The Load were invited to move to Jacksonville to share a house with a group from Bradenton called The Second Coming (formerly the Blues Messengers). Reinhardt had previously been a member of this group, which also included guitarist Dickey Betts, singer/keyboardist Dale Betts (Dickey Betts’ wife), bassist Berry Oakley, drummer John Meeks, and keyboardist Reese Wynans. After Betts and Oakley left to join what would become the Allman Brothers Band, Reinhardt, Wynans and Meeks briefly carried on as The Second Coming but upon relocating to Macon, Georgia, Reinhardt heard that Iron Butterfly needed a replacement guitarist, whereupon he flew to Los Angeles for an audition.
In 1970, Iron Butterfly released an album that included Larry and Mike Pinera, titled Metamorphosis, which was officially credited to “Iron Butterfly With Pinera & Rhino and which hit number 16 in the US.
In 1971 after the break up of Iron Butterfly, Larry and bassist Lee Dorman formed Captain Beyond, recruiting former Johnny Winter/Rick Derringer drummer Bobby Caldwell and original Deep Purple singer Rod Evans. They released three albums, Captain Beyond, Sufficiently Breathless and Dawn Explosion.
Captain Beyond would eventually break up in 1977.
After the initial breakup of Captain Beyond in 1977, Reinhardt formed his own band, Rhino, along with singer Jimi Henderson (Tucky Buzzard) in 1979. Rhino would go on to tour the United States in support of Stephen Stills.
Throughout the years, Reinhardt would go on to perform in several reformed versions of Iron Butterfly along with Lee Dorman. Reinhardt also reformed Captain Beyond with drummer Bobby Caldwell in 1998 as well. The reformed Captain Beyond debuted at a Sweden rock Festival in 1999, performing on the bill along with Deep Purple, Dio and Budgie. Captain Beyond broke up for the second and final time in 2002 due to management issues.
After Captain Beyond disbanded for the second time in 2002, Reinhardt joined Blue Swamp in 2003. Then in August of 2008, Reinhardt started recording his first solo album here in Florida called “Rhino‘s Last Dance” which was released in 2009. With no support from management, Reinhardt then formed Rhino and the Posse in 2010 along with Mike Kach, Frankie Lombardi, Pedro Arevalo (Dicky Betts band, Great Southern) and Don E. Bonzi. Rhino and the Posse released their self titled album in 2011.
Aside from the several bands he tenured with throughout the years, Reinhardt had also made several appearances on other artists songs and albums as well. Reinhardt played on “Don‘t Let Me Down” and “I Don‘t Want To Get Hurt By Your Love Again” which appeared on Bobby Womack’s 1974 album Looking for Love Again. Reinhardt wrote three songs… “Still A Boy,” “Serious,” and “Such a Feeling”, which appeared on Mad Dancer’s 1981 “Lost World” album. Reinhardt also worked on Robert Tepper’s 1996 “No Rest For The Wounded Heart” album.
In early 2010, Reinhardt addressed his health problems on his Facebook page, writing, “Doc says don’t have sex, don’t smoke, don’t drink, just lay like a slug until you are well. If I live like she wants me to, then it’s certain for me. Please say a kind word for me my friends, this could be the end.”
Reinhardt had been battling sclerosis of the liver, and according to his girlfriend, Tracey Hooper, he was taken off life support in accordance with his living will. “He had a love for music, and when he couldn’t play guitar he was depressed,” said Hooper. “His love of music was everything.”
Larry sadly died January 2, 2012 after battling cancer and sclerosis of the liver. He was 63.
One of my alltime favorite psychedelic songs Butterfly Bleu from the album Metamorphosis) with Rhino and Mike Pinera on guitars: