James ‘Jim’ Boyd Lambert (1954-2021)

James Boyd Lambert, 67, of Chalfant Valley, passed away peacefully in his home on the morning of March 9th, 2021 after a long battle with cancer.

Jim was born in Blythe, California on February 7th, 1954 to James Robert Lambert, Jr. and his wife Maveline.  In 1979, Jim moved up to the Owens Valley, where he worked at Napa Auto Parts in Bishop and Mammoth for many years.  While living in Crowley, Jim also volunteered with the Long Valley Fire Department as a Firefighter and EMT/B.  In 2006, Jim left Napa Auto Parts to work for Britt’s Diesel and Automotive in Laws as their Parts Technician, and moved to Chalfant Valley.  He was always particularly grateful for the support of Britt and Karolyn Nelson, as well as Cristy Crawford and her husband Cecil, and the entire crew at Britt’s for their companionship in both his professional and personal life over the years.

While he worked selling auto parts, Jim’s passion was always his music.  Jim was an avid guitar player, and many of his fondest memories come from creating music throughout the Owens Valley.  While Jim touched countless lives throughout the valley, he wished to extend a special thanks to Tom and Eileen Gault, as well as the rest of the band, “Flashback,” Margie and Bob Steele along with the members of “Sax 5th Avenue,” Paul Rose, Derik Olson, Rob and Kymberlee Nalumaluhia along with the rest of the band “Halfway to Benton,” for the cherished memories and wonderful music they were able to share over the decades.  Further, he extends his gratitude to Mark and Michelle Layne, owners of Toms Place, as well as Denise Domaille-Molnar and Dennis Domaille of the Mobil Mart in Lee Vining, as well as the numerous other venues, for providing great space where he was able to play his music.

Jim is survived by his wife, Lina Lambert, of Chalfant Valley, his daughter, Jamie Chapman and her husband, Logan, of Willows, California, his son, David Lambert and his fiancé Meghan, of Bangor, Maine, and his granddaughter, Kennedy Chapman, of Willows, California, his step-daughter, Amanda Myers of Arcata, California and step-son Spencer Myers of Los Angeles, as well as the countless other friends and loved ones he touched throughout his life.

A celebration of life will be scheduled for later on in the summer.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made on Jim’s behalf supporting local businesses, the local music societies, firefighter/search & rescue organizations, or the tip jars of any live musicians, or a donation of blood can be made in Jim’s honor to continue the gift of life.

52 responses

  1. Jim an I talked in lyrics so many times, and it’s how I continue to hear him now. In melodies, in the birds clapping and in the rush of the wind.

    Post your favorite lyrics here, dear friends, or your memories or those “Jimmy’isms” that will make us laugh or cry and to be able to remember Jimmy, the singer, story-teller, friend, giver, listener, and true lover of life.♡

    Sweetheart ♡: I am forever young as I think of how you made me feel your love, in the jingle-jangle mornings or on a marvelous night for a moondance, my hair colliding in the wind, with my heart thumping for you Mr. Jimmy, my handsome tambourine man….I and Love and You.
    All my lovin’
    …….. your Brown-Eyed Girl.

    • Dear Lina, knowing Jim and you and your family for so long… for me it’s been so much about the music. Flashback at the ML Jazz Jubilee, Good Livin’ and all the other musical collaborations. Also Spencer and Amanda. I was happy to be invited up to sing along occasionally or do musical theater or get a paying gig with Spencer or go see Amanda sing on stage. That harmonious richness is woven into the fabric of our communities and my life with thread connected to Lambert that cannot be severed. Jim lives on in all who knew him.

  2. He used to say SoulShine. It’s better than sunshine. It’s better than moonshine. Damn sure better than rain.

    • Listening to Let It Be this morning (even though Jimmy knows I can’t stand the beetles) and I came upon a church with a massive Mother Mary mural on the wall. It gave me a chuckle and not one exit further was a Guitar Center. Jimmy was riding shotgun in my service truck this morning.

  3. I remember when we were up on vacation in the Mammoth Lakes area and we were at the Mobile Station for dinner!
    We got to meet, sit and visit with Lina & Jim. Lina introduced us to Jim! Loved getting to see how happy they were together! Their love for each other was so apparent. ❤️

  4. I didn’t know Jim for very many years but what I do know is he was such a kind man and Chip and I were so happy hanging out and listening to him and what he loved most of all music!
    “And in the end, the Love you take is equal to the Love you make” The Beatles
    By everyone’s words spoken about you Jim it sounds like you brought so much love into this world, and even though God took you home too soon I think your music will ring in everyone’s hearts❤️
    RIP JIM We love you Lina

    • Prayer is a circle of love. Jim prayed so much for Chip at his accident and then Chip (and you) prayed for Jim. We remain always connected. And he is singing Disney tunes with Rose now.

  5. The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye…until we meet again” – Jimi Hendrix

  6. “There are places I’ll remember
    All my life though some have changed
    Some forever, not for better
    Some have gone and some remain”
    -The Beatles
    RIP Jim-you will be remembered.

  7. Everyone loved Jim so much !
    He had a smile as big as Texas when he played music …it was contagious. He will truly be missed at Tom’s Place
    Much love to Lina and family
    Mark and Michelle

  8. I wish we had hooked up sooner, more time
    playing music; gonna miss losing the “Musical Encyclopedia”, loved your Neil Young voice.

  9. Ahhh! I don’t where to start. I am a recent acquaintance of Jim and Lina. We met at Stanford as we were riding down the elevator from the 3rd floor – ‘Head and Neck Cancer’. I noticed Jim’s drooping eye similar to mine ‘cept mine was the right. Hey! If you merged our heads together… both eyes drooped.
    We both shared Dr. Beadle, our oncologist. My 60 radiation treatments 1 yr behind me, and Jim? His 60 treatments ahead of him. He looked at me and he saw the light at the end of that treatment of tunnel He smiled and thanked me. This was the start of our beautiful ‘Text’ and ‘Email’ friendship. In some ways, an Internet one.. lol.
    There were times when Jim asked about my taste buds, if my eye waters, and other stuff.
    I loved how they shared their ‘meals’ with me showing me pictures of Jim’s keto inventiveness, and I also saw the zillion pots on the sink and counter left for the sous chef and clean up crew Lina.
    There are many layers of Jim that I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing.. However, thru your words and sharing … I’m getting a good grasp of the person that I met and his capacity of caring, warmth, humor, talent [guitar, vocals, wooden spoon], and the list continues.
    Soon our paths will divide, and Jim remained courageous and he stilled cared. He and Lina kept some information or questions from me because they didn’t want to alarm me or have me wondering. And yet, there were questiosn I had, and yet, thinking of both of them, didn’t want to alarm them as well.
    We were ‘therapy’ for one another. Yes! Being able to talk to someone who had experienced what we, he, or I experience. And Lina… the cheerleader.
    I will continue my therapy sessions with Lina.
    “Thank You” to all of you who have shared and allowing me to get to know Jim, how you knew him. How you heard his music and witnessed his stage persona. I will continue to visit this site and enjoy … Jim thank you for this wondering gift.
    I’m listenting to Youtube Amos Lee-Windows are Rolled Down (Live with the Colarado Symphony) it’s magic.
    Thank you all for your time. Is this therapy session on the house?
    Take Care ……Colette

  10. Jim- I love you because of how you love my sweet friend Lina. I think about how you brought music back into her life after heartbreak.
    We lived to sit back at Mobil Mart and listen to the oldies and goodies. Your smile was amazing Jim!
    Thank you for giving this time on earth your all and for making this world a better place.
    Love,
    Janice & Duncan

  11. One of my favorite memories are summer evenings when Jim & Tom played at the Mobil in Lee Vining. It was so fun when Jim sang Sweet Caroline. “Sweet Caroline good times never seemed so good.” Those good times at the Mobile were good times and they never seemed so good. Another great memory is Jim was on Long Valley Fire & I was on Mammoth Fire. Those memories and the Firemen brotherhood is very special here in the Eastern Sierra. The Toby Keith Song Shoulda-Bin-A Cowboy lyrics “I Shoulda-Bin-A Cowboy, I shoulda learned to Rope and Ride” My Real Estate Office in Mammoth is Shoulda-Bin-A Cowboy Land & Cattle Co. Inc. Jim and Tom learned the song and would sing it regularly at the Mobil. The always did Shoulda Bin A Cowboy during one the sets, so one evening I brought 2 of my SBC logo wear ball caps with me. When they finished the song I went up and gave them the 2 hats. It is one of my best memories.

    Yes the peace of God does transcend all understanding.

    • Jim would ask me on the way to Mobil Mart if you guys were going to be at the show, so he could add your song to the playlist. Many times it was his “unexpected favorite”

  12. So many stories so much time. In the 41 years I’ve known Jim since I first moved to Mammoth in 1980 when I first met him at the original Napa auto parts on old Mammoth Road. We’ve gone through some ups and downs. He hired me when I needed a job. But one of my most memorable memories of him was when we were playing the first Mammoth Folk club at the original Brew House Grill the first micro brewery owned by Fred Kukulus and the brewhouse Grill is right behind the Norco gas station or it was back in the day, and the Empty Pocket string band decided to try to have some live music in the venue and made Fred an offer that will play for free basically if you can give us some beer and maybe a little food and we kind of built it up to a real fun afternoon on Sunday evenings. Jim joined us by playing bass and he was not familiar with traditional folk music that we were playing which is kind of basically Irish and old, mountain hillbilly type music. I called out the chords and Jin improvised on the Bass. He was trying to describe to his former wife the kind of music that we played and Jim said “well I don’t really know it’s sort of goes like deedle deedle deedle deedle”. So we sort of jokingly called our style of folk music “deedle deedle music“ Rest in peace Jim

  13. “I see my light come shining
    From the west down to the east
    Any day now, any day now
    I shall be released” Bob Dylan

    Always loved playing this song with Jim. Wish we could of had more time.

  14. Jim,
    Watching you share your passion of music with so many up & down the Eastern Sierra corridor will truly be missed. Your musical talent and humor engaged audiences of all ages and made everyone feel a part of the show.
    Your choreographed unpacking and packing of the vehicle on a “show day” was always a perfectly orchestrated “Jim” plan.
    Observing your delight as you introduced a new guitar or sound equipment at a “gig” was priceless, especially when everything worked out just right… Your excitement would verberate through your voice and radiate through your smile.
    Jim…It’s time to “Take it Easy” knowing that “Your Love (of music) Will Keep us Alive” “Thanks for the Memories”
    Love, “Sister Golden Hair”

    • Jim made it a point to add Sister Golden Hair and Brown Eyed Girl to the set list when he knew you were coming to a show.

  15. I’ve never met Jim, not in person at least, but he Loved my friend Lina and thats all that matters to me. Rest in Peace Music Man!

    “Yeah, when I get where I’m going
    There’ll be only happy tears
    I will shed the sins and struggles
    I have carried all these years
    And I’ll leave my heart wide open
    I will love and have no fear
    Yeah, when I get where I’m going
    Don’t cry for me down here”

  16. Thank you for the music, friendship and community spirit, Jim! I had the distinct honor of booking the very first gig of Good Livin’–though Jim and Gault didn’t know it yet. It was September 2004, at Rainbow Tarns, at my (1st) wedding reception–a crisp fall day that turned into a cold, slightly snowy evening. There was even a small earthquake. The guests were feeling no pain (thanks to an open bar) and wanting to dance and party, but some members of the band, Flashback, were freezing, and over it, and decided to bail after the first or second set (couldn’t blame them, really!). Jim and Gault braved the cold, and stayed on and played some classics together, to the delight all present. Thus the dynamic duo of Good Livin’ started, and lasted much longer than that marriage. Lina, my heart goes out to you and all of Jim’s family and friends.

  17. When I think about my long relationship with Jim, I struggle to find the words. If we are lucky, we have a few unconditional friends in our lives. I count Jim as one of my few.
    I like to relate the story from the movie, “The Bucket List”, when the Morgan Freeman character is telling the Jack Nicholson character about the two questions you had to answer to get into Heaven.

    Have you found joy in your life?
    Has your life brought joy to others?

    I believe that the ancient Egyptians were on to something….why are we here, and what is our purpose? I know that Jim found joy in his life with Lina and his children and grandchildren and countless friends. But it was that second question that secured his place in Heaven. I was given the honor to play a small role in providing Jim the opportunity to bring joy to so many. Jim was a gift. I will forever be grateful for accompanying him on his journey to bring joy to others . You are loved.

  18. Jim, you made my soul shine whenever you played your music. My feet were tapping, my smile was huge, my heart was full. You will be missed, but your legacy for being a kind and talented man will be set in stone. Love and hugs.

  19. Well one of my fondest memories of Jim in the 41 years that I have known him since 1980 when I first moved to Mammoth, was when our little folk band the “Empty Pocket string band“ used to play at the brewhouse Grill. The brewhouse grill was the first microbrewery to be started in Mammoth by Fred Kukulus and his wife and we approach Fred looking for a venue to be able to play some music and basically suggested we’ll play some folk music for for free if we can get a beer or two and maybe some french fries or a burger and he said sure so every Sunday night we used to get our band crammed into a little corner playing traditional Celtic and americana music. Jim found out about our little gig and I invited him to come and play. He said “I don’t really know your music is he said but if I could just look at your hand I’ll know what chords you’re playing and I can do a baseline “and so I would show my left hand to him and he could work out the baseline so now we had a bass in our band. Anyways after a while playing he went back home to his first wife and she asked him “well what kind of music do they play?” And Jim said “well I’m not real sure but it kind of goes deedle deedle deedle deedle” LOL so from that point on Jim and I was referred to our traditional folk music as deedle deedle music LOL he was such a good musician he said and he could figure out stuff he was always an asset. He had a great Sense of humor and always seem to fit in just the right time and right place. Jim will be sadly missed.

  20. Hey Jim one thing i have always believed in was a benediction “ may the lord grant you peace that passes all understanding” Bud im gonna miss all the guitar and amp tradin we had done in the past You will always be a great friend.

  21. I’m so sorry Lina. I wish I could have met Jim. He was a wonderful person. I pray for comfort and peace and memories to hold on forever in your heart. Love Ella

    • I can feel the grass under my bare feet, the cold Mango Margarita in my hand…and can hear the music playing…Mobile Mart at Tioga Pass. The smile on your face, Lina, watching your true love, Jimmy , in his element, was like watching a good old fashioned, romantic film. You were beaming, he was singing and play ( was it a Rolling Stone song?) I wish I could remember the song..and the year, but it was obvious you both had found your soulmate. This was early on, when you the two of you were “falling”, and I remember the joy! I believe he is watching you from where he is now…he is also holding all those wonderful memories, and none of the pain or any of the sorrow. He knew then, and he knows now how deep your love runs for him. I am sorry for your loss, and the grief you are experiencing, but I do believe you will be with him again, and the music WILL go on . Ox-love you friend. Jennifer

  22. It has been my honor to get to know the leader of the band. I never heard him play but have loved reading what all the musicians, and fans have written-all good friends. I got to know Jim and Lina as one of his physicians. He was endlessly positive and did a lot of good even though struggling with a relentless disease. I have a deep belief that the kingdom of heaven really is something we’d sell all else for, and I’m sure there’s music. Jim’s in the middle of that, and I pray Lina and her family find comfort there.

  23. I wish I could say I knew Jim better, but as a member of a traveling band you don’t get to establish a lot of relationships on the road. We did run into Jim and Lina for years and greatly appreciated all their help and kindness. but the first time I really got to listen to Jim and his partner my partner Deb and I happened to have a Sunday off and hung out with the Barkers at the Mobil. We were quite taken by their arrangements their connection with the crowd we had a great time. A few years later we got to share the Mobil 20th anniversary show with them they were just so good. I am so sorry a member of our musical family has left us, but the joy he brought that crowd is still in the air of a warm summer night below Tioga pass.Rest in peace.

    • Jim told the story of Good Medicine from the mic many-a-time and he was honored to share the stage with your band at Mobil Mart. The memories are magic, as were those summer evenings.

  24. Hey Jimbo ~
    Working with you at Britt’s was Great!! You always put Everyone First and never gave up until you found the right parts! We had lots of Fun at the Christmas Parties singing “Feliz Navidad” and any other requests. Your Love for music was evident. You Always knew the right time and song to stream to uplift the shop!! I loved our heart to heart talks and when you would come in my office and say “Mrs Crawford” and then look both ways before saying “Are you free” from the British Show “Are You Being Served ” It always made me laugh Another favorite saying was ” plan your work. Work your plan. Your Strength and Optimism throughout your treatments was Amazing!! Just like You!! You will be Missed and are Forever Loved ❤
    Cecil & Cristy

    • PB would come home and tell stories about “the Shop” and the post-it notes and the lunch runs and, and, and….For him, it was so much more than just a “job”, it was an experience and a relationship. And you were the star.

  25. We miss Jim because of his special talents and gift of making everyone feel like part of the band. There were tambourines and egg shakers and other percussion instruments for any one of any age!
    But I remember how excited Jim was that the cherry tree in my yard was called a Lambert cherry . The fruit is dark red and heart shaped. Many young trees were found to sprout from the pits dropped by both birds and hungry folks! Now a couple of trees continue in Jim’s yard in Chalfont .
    May the trees be my memorial to Jim and may they be blessed with blossoms and fruit.

  26. Hey Music Man, I know you’re listening. Now that the Universe has reclaimed you, those of us still here on Earth will have to make do with our memories to get us by. Every time we hear a song you played, it will remind us of all the fun times we shared. I hope you’ve found some friends there, and some good gigs. Best of luck my friend on this trip around the galaxy. We’ll miss you.

    • Out of all the events we did, the parking lot Cruiser show as one of his favorites… and he always asked if you were going to come out and help him pick out the best “cartoons” (car tunes).

  27. We are so sorry! We love your family! We are praying that God will be with you all in a tangible way and bring peace to your hearts. Jim was a great man and his legacy will live on. We are here for you!

  28. Dearest Lina it seems like just as you found love,it was taken away. My heart breaks for you . I am sure you know that now Jim is in a better place. Free from pain. My thoughts are with you. I love you my friend ❤. Sincerely Michelle Wagner

    • The rings that we picked out specially from your jewelry store will be a lasting memory. He did not want to go anywhere else to get our rings. He loved shopping local, and seeing your smile and the “sharp-dressed man” Whenever they played that, we referenced Billy. ♡♡♡♡

  29. Oh, Lina I’m so sorry. I’ve been out of state and hadn’t heard. He’s now the 5th of my Long Valley Fire buddies that we’ve lost. We probably worked 100 calls together over the years, and Jim could always be counted on to do the right thing; whether it was keeping water flowing from the pumper, extricating someone from a rollover, or giving first aid.
    I always hoped I would someday get a crack at backing him up on the bass.
    Love and blessings;
    Phil

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