On a Day of Celestial Miracles: A Remembrance of Jaco Pastorius, a Musical One…
I have no idea why watching the eclipses today made me think of this man’s music. Except that when I watched the documentary Jaco the other day — produced by Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo — I felt much as I did watching that celestial spectacular today.
Couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Couldn’t fathom it — couldn’t process all that power. So I just sat in awe.
And when it was over and I was dissolving in tears at the tragedy and triumph, both, I said simply, “Well, thank you, Lord, for letting us borrow him for a few years…”
Jaco’s journey ended so sadly. Finally diagnosed as bipolar — but I think God just kissed him too hard — he wound up living in a park and being beaten to death but…I don’t want to talk about that. I just want to share the ridiculously long Messenger message I sent my daughter today in a rush of emotion.
I wanted her to come in from the eclipse to this. To be struck dumb, twice, by magic and majesty.
So…if you like, listen. If you’re not interested…enjoy the rest of your day. Sometimes I write about stuff that trumps Trump. Just to stay sane.
For those who dare, here’s what I wrote to my crazy beautiful kid today, after making her a little Spotify sampler just long enough — she’s a modern girl, you have to make it short and sweet or she’s gone.
You can follow the same directions if you like to play this on Spotify. Haven’t changed a word, so mea culpa for all the drama and if there are any mistakes, factual or otherwise:
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN TO THIS! I made this playlist for you after watching a documentary about the greatest bass player who ever lived — the Jimi Hendrix of bass-in which Flea, Sting, the bassist from Metallica (who produced the film), and damned near every bassist and guitar player alive weighed in on his genius. It’s on Netflix, just entitled “Jaco,” I think.
I didn’t know he died penniless, living in a park, playing guitar for pennies to survive. He was beaten to death at a Santana concert, by bouncers who did not recognize him when he tried to get up onstage. What I NEED you to do is find a few minutes to listen to him because you should know this man. Start at about 1:22 of the first live piece (if you can’t handle the first ramblings) and listen to him make his bass do things bass guitars don’t normally do. Then, just listen to the other songs that show the range of his talent.
DO NOT MISS JOHN AND MARY even if you have to lock yourself in a closet. It’s almost orchestral and always makes me cry because he recorded his children, who loved him ’til the day he died, singing along with something he was doing. It seems to end, and then it comes back with him and some professional singers singing what they sang first — and when I think of how this man died…I can’t stand it. SUCH a beautiful song to remember him by…