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In Memoriam: Pete Luboff, Friend to Songwriters


By Danny Arena, Co-Founder

Songwriter, mentor, friend, and colleague Pete Luboff passed away this week due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. Sara and I first met Pete and Pat Luboff in the mid-1990s, shortly after they moved from LA to Nashville. At the time, only a handful of songwriters were involved in songwriting education, and we were all friends and knew each other. Pete and Pat’s book, “88 Songwriting Wrongs and How To Right Them,” was always one of my top picks for songwriting books, right next to Sheila Davis’s “Craft of Lyric Writing.”

After they moved to Nashville, we finally got together face-to-face at the Starbucks near the Bluebird Café. I reached out my hand to shake his, and Pete just jumped in and hugged me (and then Sara) like he had known us for years. I quickly learned that was his nature – Pete was a friend to everyone and loved everyone without fail. We talked for hours into the evening until we closed down Starbucks, where I found out they had a Snoop Dogg cut on his first album (who knew!). We taught at seminars and camps together and shared many a meal at both our homes. When Sara and I started thinking about launching, Pat and Pete were among our first phone calls and, not surprisingly, one of the first to jump on board and support us. Their DIY course, SONG 120 – What’s In A Name: The Central Importance Of The Song Title, was one of the first courses developed for This fundamental course remains as relevant today as the day it was conceived. When we added live song feedback courses (FDBK) to our instructional offerings, Pat and Pete were again our first phone call. From 2007 to 2015, they taught the popular FDBK 105 – Song Feedback and Mentoring several times a month. Pete always had his guitar in hand and could effortlessly create musical ideas on the spot for virtually any song to improve it. Pat always had her timer in hand to ensure Pete didn’t spend an hour discussing and working on one song :-).

More than anything, Pete Luboff was a good man, an honest and fierce supporter of songwriters. He loved songs, but more importantly, he loved those who created them. Thank you, Pete, for the joy you added to our life and for all you’ve done for songwriters. We will miss your creativity, your laughter, and your hugs.

Author: Sara Light

Sara Light has been writing professionally in Nashville since 1996. Her credits include the John Michael Montgomery title track and the hit single "Home To You" which received an ASCAP airplay award in addition to being named SESAC song of the year for having garnered 2 million spins on radio. She also composed songs for the musical "Urban Cowboy, The Musical" which opened on Broadway in March 2003 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score." Sara has always combined her love of teaching with her love of songwriting and has given countless songwriting seminars throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2001 she co-founded, along with her husband Danny Arena, the online educational website Besides being one of the main administrators (and now bloggers) Sara teaches Song Feedback and Lyric Writing at

4 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Pete Luboff, Friend to Songwriters

  1. Beautifully stated!

  2. Very well said Dan. I first met Pete and Pat through NSAI and SongU many years ago. What a great faculty member. Pete always and graciously gave high-level comments when giving song feedback to members. I remember those days well. During one of my trips to Nashville I spent the afternoon having lunch with both Pete and Pat, and then went back to their house for wine and cheese. What a great visit. As you mentioned Danny, meeting Pete for the first time was like knowing him for your entire life. A good man indeed, and a great songwriter. We will all miss you Pete, but will always hang on to the memories.

  3. When I first got seriously involved in song writing I read 75 or a hundred books on the business of songwriting. One of those books was written by Pete and Pat. That was the number one book I would recommends to new songwriters. It was my most favorite of all the published data on the business that I had encountered. Written from their own experience, they had a really good grasp on what was important to know about the business. It sure helped me a lot. So good in face it ought to be required reading. I am so saddened to hear that Pete has passed away. My condolences to Pat. What a great couple.

  4. On their way from LA to Nashville, Pete & Pat parked their RV at my home in Tempe Arizona for a couple nights. We had them in for dinner and they provided my songwriter aspirations with new excitement, knowledge, and blessings. I will never forget their visit. I am thankful we kept in touch over the years. Rest In Peace my friend. My God Bless.

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