OPM Rock in Mourning: Wolfgang and The Dawn Bassist Mon Legaspi Passes Away
The Filipino rock scene is in mourning after the loss of one of its most important stalwarts. Bassist Mon Legaspi passed away in the U.S., succumbing to cardiac arrest on Monday, October 3, 2022 as confirmed by The Dawn's Facebook page. He was 54.
Legaspi was part of the '80s and early '90s Filipino rock movement that birthed underground rock and progressive music. He was first part of the local hard rock scene as a member of Wolfgang, together with Basti Artadi, guitarist Manuel Legarda, and drummer Wolf Gemora. As part of arguably the hardest-rocking Filipino band, Legaspi helped the band write hits like "Tulisan," "Mata ng Diyos," and "Halik ni Hudas," among others.
Legaspi's bandmate Gemora also paid tribute to his colleague and friend by writing: "Mon Legaspi was the fourth bassist of Wolfgang. We had thought we were already complete with the acquisition of our first bassist. Then the next. And the next. But, it was only when Mon joined up that Wolfgang was finally complete."
Eventually, Legaspi found himself joining The Dawn in 2003 after the departure of Carlos Balcells.
After leaving in 2005 to pursue other projects, the musician rejoined the group in 2016 and had been touring with them since. He would also play with The Dawn during their Canada and 30th anniversary tour. Most of us remember The Dawn for songs like “Salamat,” "Enveloped Ideas," and “I Stand With You." Legaspi had also played with the indie hard rock band Kontra.
Legaspi was always praised as a consumate professional by his peers and as one of the local music industry's most celebrated bassists. The musician had even performed at 19 East and '70s Bistro earlier this year.
Legaspi's ex-wife, Thelma Bowlen, likewise, remembered him as a dear friend and father to their daughter.
"We started as friends, were band mates, and eventually exes that shared a beautiful daughter," she wrote. "...I’m at a loss for words. I’m deeply saddened and heartbroken for our daughter and our grandson he won’t get to meet."
Bowlen, more commonly known as Joey, had been part of the rock radio station NU 107 back in the day. The two met in 1986 and were good friends even after they separated.
"We ask respect for the privacy of Mon's family in this painfully difficult time," The Dawn expressed.