Local singer releases song about DHS classmate who was murdered

Jim Lockwood

The single he released earlier this month is one of the most personal songs he’s ever written, Jim Lockwood said. “Diane” pays tribute to Diane Beard, a Destrehan High School classmate who was murdered a decade after graduation.

“She was my friend in high school,” Lockwood said. “Diane was a sweet, kind person who had a voice and face like a little girl.”

Several years after high school the class of 1976 DHS graduates ran into each other.

“We got caught up with one another and became friends again,” he said. “I would see her often, both through work and also because her dad owned a nightclub where bands would perform on weekends and I hung out there quite a bit.”

One night while at the bar Lockwood asked somewhere where Beard was.

“The look on his face was alarming as he responded, ‘You didn’t hear? Diane was murdered by her boyfriend,’” Lockwood remembers. “I was frozen in disbelief to imagine a person so filled with life taken so suddenly. I had never experienced a loss of a friend in such a hideous way.”

Lockwood said he immediately went home, sat down at his piano, and wrote “Diane” in about 30 minutes.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more shocked in my life,” he said. “It was very disturbing and at that time I was writing quite a bit. I went home and walked straight up to my music room and wrote it. It was a gift … it channeled through me very quickly. The song has always resonated with me in a deep, meaningful way. I think of Diane every time I hear or perform the song and though I really like it, I wish I had never had to write it. Writing the song … it’s a moment in my life that I’ll never forget.”

Lockwood said he has received feedback from several of Beard’s family members about their appreciation of the song.

“I’ve been friends with her brother Kevin for a long time,” Lockwood said, adding that they two are collaborating on ways to commemorate the song through a music video that will include pictures and videos of Beard.

Lockwood, a life-long musician, moved to St. Charles Parish when he was 12 years old.

“Both of my parents were musicians and I kind of got that bug at a young age,” he said. “I started playing guitar at 12 and switched to piano a few years later. I remember being six years old and seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and that was it for me. Up until that time I wanted to be a baseball player, but then I was like, ‘No, I want to do that.’”

Lockwood has performed as a solo musician and in many bands throughout his life. Diane is one of his songs that will appear on Atmosphere – his full album set to release Feb. 10 by Rabadash Records.

Lockwood said that he and his wife moved back to Destrehan a few years ago after living in neighboring parishes.

“It feels so good to be back in the parish and back where I grew up,” he said. “They say you can’t go home again, but I kind of did.”

“Diane”, as well as other music by Jim Lockwood, is available through several streaming services.


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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