Boyd Alexander Gee Littell, the musical legend
of Norman, Oklahoma died in a bicycle accident in Portland,
Oregon. Boyd Gee was born on July 24, 1977, lived three persons
lifetimes worth and died on October 31, 2017 at the age of 40.
Boyd Littell led a life that was full of surprises. As the
youngest of 4 children, the announcement of his impending arrival
was a surprise to his siblings, who had varied reactions. As a
toddler he surprised his family repeatedly in his highchair with
his precocious drumming and amazingly accurate impersonation of
The Incredible Hulk. During his early teen years Gee, so called by
his family, began to surprise the community with his natural
musical talents and his amazing passion for perfecting his gift.
Then as a teen and young adult, he surprised friends, co-workers
and musical colleagues with his tender compassion of others, his
sincere gratitude for lifes joys and the fact that he never
exhibited cruelty. To anyone. Ever. And then, he surprised us all
by leaving suddenly and too soon.
No list can express the talent, humor, commitment and love Boyd
Gee had for his friends and his music but here are the bands he
was a member of, created, or got kicked out of in no particular
order: ADDverse Effects, The Ills, Mama Sweet, Stereo Pimp, Scabby
Itchens, Skinphonia, Pidgin, Thumper, Deluxe Vortex, Rat Bastard
and Electric Ass, Conjunto Clave, The Method, The Projects, Blues
Man/Blues Devil, Tao Chemical, Circus Midgets, Tritones, Tincture,
Blue Light Special, and Lord High Octane & the Kam Shaft
Boyd was preceded in death by his father, Robert Dale Littell and
his brother, Paul Hatcher Littell. Surviving immediate family
members include his mother, Jaquine Hudson Bly and his sisters,
Susan Binkley Greer and Morgan Binkley Rogers. Boyd came from a
large family; survivors include aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and
The gathering to celebrate his life will be held on Friday,
November 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm at The Main Street Event Center in
Norman. Part Two of the celebration will be held at the Deli from
7-10 pm. Please feel free to bring your pictures, videos,
recordings, art work and stories to share.
A site has been created in memory of Boyd Littell on youcaring.com
to help the family with the expenses of bringing our loved one
Police say Portlander Boyd Littell fell from
his bike, then died in Colonel Summers Park
Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 1st, 2017
A man who was well-known among many in Portland for his cycling
and musical prowess has died.
40-year-old Boyd Littell was found early Tuesday morning in
Colonel Summers Park. The police confirmed his identity a few
minutes ago and said he likely died after falling from his
We’ve also heard something similar from a source close to Boyd:
That he crashed while riding his bike, hit his head, walked over
to the park, lay down, and never woke up.
I met Boyd for the first time in January 2016. I was on a break
from work at the Stumptown on SW 3rd Avenue downtown when his bike
caught my eye. Boyd worked as a messenger (when he wasn’t playing
drums in his popular band ADDverse Effects) and rode a highly
customized, white Klein road bike with flat bars, carbon tri-spike
wheels, lots of personal flair and an obviously courier-influenced
aesthetic. I ended up chatting with him for a while and shared a
little profile of him here on BikePortland. He seemed like a very
creative and interesting guy. And today, reading through all the
tributes to him from friends on his Facebook page, he was even
more creative and interesting than I ever knew.
Dee Branham, co-owner of a local courier company and friend of
Boyd’s, tells us Boyd made his final radio dispatch at 8:30 pm on
Monday from Yur’s Bar & Grill. Dee and others are looking for
people who might have seen or talked to Boyd between then and when
he was found on Tuesday morning. If you know anything, get in
touch and we’ll connect you with Dee.
Our thoughts are with Boyd’s family and friends. May he rest in
UPDATE: Here’s a memoriam sent to us via email by a member of
Boyd Littell, found in SE Portland park, 40 years old, died of a
He was Susan [None Binkley] Greer’s dearly loved brother. Keever’s
uncle. He was Bob Littell’s son. His mother’s [Jaquine Hudson Bly]
baby, and older sister Morgan’s [Rogers] little brother. He so
revered his late brother. He was the time keeper for so many dance
classes over the years, at OU and Modern Dance Arts, and others.
He was the band mate of the most talented musicians in this town.
He was a romantic, with the prettiest, most talented girlfriends,
and he was so many’s good, great, best friend. If you knew Boyd,
there were too many friends to count, mutual friends, that you had
in common, that you respected for their choices, their talent,
their inspiration. Now Boyd’s gone, but I want you to know, how he
was special. Any of us could tell lots of stories about our
friend, his friends, our mutual friends, and the good times that
we had. But let me leave you with this: Bob Littell, Gee’s dad,
always had his eye out for a beautiful cloud formation in the sky,
and on a good day, nothing could get better than the beauty he
found in the clouds, and he passed that appreciation of beauty to
Boyd, and every time Boyd stopped to talk, to update me on his
life, his music, his challenges and his successes, when there was
a beautiful cloud in the sky, you could feel that special
connection Boyd had to his dad, and the beauty he found in his
life. That he passed, probably looking skyward, possibly searching
for his closest connections above, is only fitting, and
comforting, in this horribly saddening moment of our loss.
Remember Boyd when you look to the sky, and know his kind thoughts
are with us, as we grieve his passing.
You were cared about, you were loved, your friendship and
attention was appreciated and cherished, by oh so many. We are all
so sad, as we gather various places to celebrate your too short
Family, friends remember late Norman musician
Supriya Sridhar, Our Daily, Nov 8, 2017
Thomas Young rubs his beard while standing outside The Deli on
Campus Corner. He remembers his late friend, musician Boyd
He smiles at the thought of filling in with one of Boyd’s
Norman-area bands and how Boyd would sit next to him at rehearsals
and tell him if he was playing a song right.
“Whether he wanted to be an educator or not,” said Young of the
musician and former OU School of Dance employee, “he most
definitely was to a lot of people.”
Littell died after a bike crash last week in Portland at age 40.
Communities of musicians and dancers in Oklahoma and Oregon were
staggered by the loss of Littell, who lived with the belief that
less is more — whether in stripping down music to its essential
elements, never getting a driver’s license or simply tucking his
jeans into his socks to keep his pant leg out of his bike chain
wherever he rode.
In Portland, dozens turned out Nov. 5, a few nights after his
death, for a vigil in Colonel Summers Park, the site of his crash.
Back in Norman, family and friends hope more will turn out Nov. 24
for a wake at The Deli, a site of some of his early musical
Boyd grew up in a house full of music, with The Beatles, The
Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and
Frank Zappa filling his ears.
He and his two older siblings traded music the way some kids
traded Halloween candy, consuming as much as possible.
As they got older, Littell took the lead. He would introduce them
to new music and artists, recognizing his siblings’ and friends’
musical tastes. But Littell could play, too. He began to hone what
would become his life’s craft in both garage bands and the Norman
High marching band, where he was a percussionist, before
graduating in 1995.
“You’d just hand him an instrument and within five minutes he’s
got it figured out,” said Susan Greer, Boyd’s older sister, who is
director of alumni outreach at OU’s College of Education.
In life, and death, Littell shared commonalities with his older
brother Paul, who was a musician as well.
Both could immediately pick something up after hearing it on the
Both were bike enthusiasts turned bike messengers who never got
their driver’s licences.
And, in a freak coincidence, both died in crashes — Boyd cracked
his skull on Halloween and Paul ruptured a thigh artery in San
Francisco in 1993 at 20 years old.
Littell, 15 when Paul died, inherited the bike messenger bag his
brother rode with in San Francisco.
“That was sort of the talisman for him,” Greer said of the bag and
its influence, recalling how Boyd dove into music and bike culture
after his brother’s death.
She doesn’t yet know whether her little brother had it with him at
the time of his crash.
But he used it every single day, she said.
Feeding her brother’s love of music, Greer used to sneak Littell
into Liberty D’s — now Pepe Delgados — to watch regular live music
when she bartended there in college. He would hide at a back table
with a Coke as he absorbed blues, reggae and rockabilly and
expanded his musical diet.
The love of live music grew within him.
Soon, Littell went from listening to performing. He became a
staple at The Deli, which advertises itself as Norman’s only
7-day-a-week live music venue. Eventually, friends and family say,
he played with almost every band in Norman there.
“The word that I would use to describe Boyd is ‘authentic,’” said
Justin Morris, 37, while tuning his guitar before a recent show at
The Deli. He and Littell met in 1998 when Morris, a guitarist,
came to college and needed to learn how to play bass as well.
Littell gave him advice, teaching him how to create his own style
and space with the instrument. He remembers Littell’s blunt
honesty and how he would never sugar-coat anything as a player or
“He had a really uncanny way of balancing the line between a great
hang and a critical mentor," said Morris.
Over time, Littell’s musical influence crossed from Campus Corner
to OU, where he worked as an accompanist in Austin Hartel’s modern
dance classes for 15 years.
He spent enough time in Hartel’s classes that he could probably
teach them himself, the OU associate professor said. Littell
collaborated with Hartel and students, writing music for many of
their capstone projects and performing live with them.
They would spend extra hours together talking, innovating and
“He developed an eye for dance,” Hartel said.
Their creative process worked harmoniously and created a
friendship that extended beyond the classes.
“We worked together, but it never felt like work really,” Hartel
Littell came to see all the ballet and modern dance performances
and in return, Hartel went to Littell’s concerts.
“He could get up and give corrections and tell my students what
they were doing wrong,” Hartel said. “I’d be like, ‘Boyd, what did
that look like?’ And he’d be like, ‘Well, they didn’t get it.’”
When Littell left for Portland in 2014, he needed a new challenge.
Boyd had played out the Oklahoma music scene and needed to expand
Hartel told him he could always come back and play for his class.
“In the back of my mind, I always thought he would come back,"
Hartel said. “I just kind of have to let go of that I guess.”
Greer is planning a wake celebrating her brother’s life. It will
take place 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 at the Main Street Event
Center and then 7 p.m. at The Deli.
Boyd Littell Mourned From Portland To Norman,
40-year-old Boyd Littell died Tuesday, Oct. 31, when he fell from
his bike while traveling through Colonel Summers Park, according
By Travis Loose, Patch Staff
November 2, 2017
PORTLAND, OR — The Oregon State Medical Examiner on Wednesday said
Boyd Littell, a 40-year-old Portland-area musician and bike
messenger, died when he accidentally fell from his bike while
riding through Colonel Summers Park in central Portland's Buckman
neighborhood early Oct. 31.
Police began investigating Littell's death around 7:45 a.m.
Tuesday after receiving reports of an unresponsive man lying in
the park near Southeast Belmont Street and Southeast 20th Avenue.
No signs of foul play were found, police said.
The Norman Transcript, a news agency in Littell's hometown of
Norman, Oklahoma, spoke with Littell's sister, Susan Greer.
Greer told The Transcript her brother suffered a cracked skull
after falling from his bike, and that he then walked across the
street from where he fell, laid down in the park and never got
"There was no violence," she told The Transcript. "His bike was
right next to him and there was money in his pocket."
On Facebook Wednesday, Portlanders and Normanders all shared
thoughtful messages and memories of Littell.
A musician, avid cyclist, and all-around nice guy, Littell
apparently made quite the impact on all those who had the pleasure
to play with him on-stage and interact with him in his daily life.
His music lives on still through his Soundcloud account. Click
here to check it out.
With regard to Littell's cycling, BikePortland.org publisher
Jonathan Maus shared with Patch his tribute to Littell:
"I met Boyd for the first time in January 2016," Maus wrote on
BikePortland. "I was on a break from work at the Stumptown on SW
3rd Avenue downtown when his bike caught my eye. Boyd worked as a
messenger (when he wasn't playing drums in his popular band
ADDverse Effects) and rode a highly customized, white Klein road
bike with flat bars, carbon tri-spike wheels, lots of personal
flair and an obviously courier-influenced aesthetic. I ended up
chatting with him for a while and shared a little profile of him
here on BikePortland.
"He seemed like a very creative and interesting guy. And today,
reading through all the tributes to him from friends on his
Facebook page, he was even more creative and interesting than I
During a phone call Thursday, Maus told Patch that Littell's fall
is being looked into by others in the bike messenger community.
"(Littell) was a super experienced rider," Maus told Patch. "It's
just strange… but with more experience often comes more chances of
taking risks. And when you take risks, well, that's what risk is."
Maus said he's hopeful more answers to how Littell came to fall
Tuesday morning will come to light soon; he mentioned his belief
that Littell's accident was not human caused, but wonders whether
there could be hazards in the area other cyclists may want to
Norman musician Boyd Littell found dead in
By Mack Burke |
The Norman Transcript, November 1, 2017
Former Norman resident and musical standout Boyd Littell has died.
Littell was found dead early Tuesday morning in Colonel Summers
Park in Portland, Oregon.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner has ruled Littell's death an
accidental death, likely the result of him falling off his
bicycle. Investigators do not suspect foul play.
Littell’s sister, Susan Greer, said investigators indicated that
Littell suffered a cracked skull, and believe he then walked
across the street and laid down in the park where he bled to
“There was no violence,” she said. “His bike was right next to him
and there was money in his pocket.”
The 40 year-old musician and Norman High alumnus moved to Portland
in 2014 with the Norman-born hip hop group ADDverse Effects, which
returned as a main stage act during Norman Music Festival in 2017.
Littell’s music career was long, storied and eclectic. Among many,
many others, Littell was a member of such notable Norman groups as
The Ills and Mama Sweet. He also served as an accompanist for the
University of Oklahoma School of Dance where he also studied
Many members of the Norman community took to social media
Wednesday to express sorrow over Littell’s death and the extent of
his impact on the city’s culture and character.
"I somehow managed to convince him to let me record some of his
tracks," Breathing Rhythm Studio owner Steve Boaz said. "What
ensued was years of the greatest musical education I will ever
have. I tried my best to pick up on every nuance of what he was
doing right in front of me. He was like a big brother, a well of
solid, dependable information that I would use to guide myself
through the rest of my life.
"As I got to know the rest of Norman and its oasis of talent, I
learned what an impact he made on every single person that got to
experience him ... We were lucky to have even maintained a
presence like his in this town for as long as we did."
ADDverse Effects frontman Fiji Azzam said Littell was living his
dream in Portland. There were challenges but everything was
looking up for the band as its following swelled into the
thousands. He said no one had ever pushed him so hard or believed
in him so relentlessly.
"[He] never settled," Azzam said. "[He] always pushed us to be
better, to think deeper, to work harder. We’re all better
musicians and people because of that ... There are no more Boyd
Littells in the world. [He was] truly one of a kind ...
"To be liked by Boyd was easy, to have his respect was gold."
Those are just a few of the hundreds upon hundreds of stories that
spread like sorrowful wildfire throughout the day Wednesday. Greer
said the outpouring has been tremendous.
“Lots of similar sentiments, a phenomenal human being and an
amazing, talented musician,” she said. “Lots of good memories.
Clearly he had a lot of influence and the love and appreciation of
many musicians and the community at large. It’s hard not to be
biased as a sister, but I always thought he was something special.
He was that kid who could hear something on the radio and just sit
down and play it.”
Greer said she is planning a celebration of his life and will
announce those details on social media when they are finalized. A
web page been set up to accept donations to assist with funeral
“He loved the community here and loved living here,” she said. "He
loved Portland too ... but he was somebody special in this town.”
Mural of late Norman native,
musician finishes up, dedication ceremony planned
Morgan Missel, June 4, 2018
A Norman native and musician who passed away last year in Oregon
has been memorialized with a larger-than-life-sized mural on the
side of Buchanan Bicycles on Campus Corner.
The mural of Boyd Littell, a well-known name in the Norman music
scene, was started May 14 by Eunice “Nissy” Carter, with only the
finishing touches being added now. Carter said she was simply
trying to process her own grief when she painted the original
piece, not knowing that sharing it on social media would lead to
the mural of Littell, who was part of multiple bands and worked as
an accompanist for the OU School of Dance.
Carter posted a photo to Facebook of her painting of Littell along
with some other artwork she had completed, and the Littell piece
received a lot of attention from admirers and fellow musicians.
“It just kind of blew up from there on social media. There were a
lot of calls for turning it into a mural on Campus Corner,” Carter
said. “So (Tobias Schiele) set up a GoFundMe to kind of fund it,
and within a month, our goal was met.”
Tobias Schiele, friend of both Carter and Littell, was inspired by
the picture and approached Buchanan Bicycles about the mural. He
got permission to paint the wall and asked Carter to recreate her
Carter said she hopes the mural reminds Littell’s loved ones how
much he was loved by the community. Along with his name and birth
and death dates, there will be a plaque placed next to the mural
with more information about Littell’s life.
There will be a dedication ceremony for the mural at 7:30 p.m. on
July 15 at Buchanan Bicycles on 561 Buchanan Ave. in Norman.
“This will be kind of a way let people get to know who he was and
his legacy,” Carter said.