Tuesday, December 1, 2015

World's Greatest

His hair was dirty and his teeth were broken. Dirt was embedded in the grooves of his fingers, the fingers that made music out of nature and trains. He spent his last days roughing it at Holiday Park. Yes, the world's greatest bass player was homeless. I try to keep this in mind with our homeless community; you never know who that person once was or what they've done. Any one of them could easily be him. He who was the strongest taught us even in his weakness.

To me, he is a hometown hero. By realizing his vision, virtue, and vice he forever changed the world of music. He traveled the globe and touched countless lives, but still he always came home. The man and the place had become inseparable. Its influences shaped his sensibilities, then his abilities painted pictures in people's hearts. He released himself into the world, and part of him will always be here, walking the streets we all use, climbing the trees that once lined Andrews Ave, learning lessons of great value in the hidden places. But he is not hidden, the beat goes on all around us if we have ears to listen.

Much has been written about him, he continues to be honored, and his legend continues to grow as the years pass since his demise at the hands of another. Today there is nothing to add, only for us to enjoy the music he left us, music that will never die.

Happy birthday, Jaco.

1 comment:

  1. A few years back WLRN did a piece about Jaco's park and interviewed me at the park. Although I seem to get the most credit for spearheading the effort, it never would have happened without the steadfast support of Ingrid Pastorius, her 'Stereo Sons' Julius and Felix, and the 1,000+ people who signed petitions. Thank you guys for doing your part to make a living space honoring one of our own who showed us the beauty around us and in us. GBI. GBJ.

    You can listen to the interview here: