Jeff Healey, 3/25/66 – 3/3/08. Born in Ontario, Canada, Jeff was known as a virtuoso musician playing guitar, trumpet and clarinet in the genre of "classic rock jazz". Jeff battled cancer off and on his entire life losing his eyes to a rare form of it when he was only a baby. He lost the battle but leaving behind a legacy of music and inspiration. He was 41.

An amazing musician who did not let blindness or cancer stop him from having a long and successful career as a musician. He learned how to play the guitar when he was only three, and played it in his own way - on his lap. He formed his first band when he was 17. He won many awards and "Over the years, Healey toured and sat-in with many legendary performers, including, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, BB King, ZZ Top, Steve Lukather, Eric Clapton and many more. In 2006, Healey appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD Gillan's Inn."

Jeff Healey - It Could All Get Blown Away
via FoxyTunes

Buddy Miles
, (George Allen Miles) 9/5/47 - 2/26/08. Buddy was born in Omaha, Nebraska and was known as a child prodigy, he began playing drums at age 12 in his father's jazz band. Buddy played for Jimi Hendrix between 1969 - 1970 and went on to have a successful solo career. He died of congestive heart failure. Buddy was 60.

Buddy was nicknamed "Buddy" after Buddy Rich and went on to live up to the name. "Known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many other guitarists, Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues. He is the father of female rapper Shawnna and also has a son, Michael. He is the older brother of blues guitarist Phil Guy."

Danny Federici, 1/23/50 - 4/17/08. Born in Flemingston, New Jersey, Danny was a founding member of the E Street Band. He played the organ and accordion. Danny and Bruce Springsteen met at age 18 and played music together for 40 years. He died of melanoma cancer. Danny was 58.

Anyone who knows me is aware that Bruce and his Band are very special to me. I wept upon hearing that Danny had lost his battle with melanoma. The E Street band is not longer "whole" without Danny and for Bruce, he lost one of his closest friends. Bruce gave a very touching eulogy, part of it reads "Of course we all grow up and we know “it’s only rock and roll”…but it’s not. After a lifetime of watching a man perform his miracle for you, night after night, it feels an awful lot like love."

Bruce Springsteen - 4Th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
via FoxyTunes

Bo Diddley, 12/30/28 - 6/2/2008. Born in McComb, Mississippi, Bo will be remembered as for his role in bringing blues to rock and roll. He is a legend and has collaborated with many of the biggest names in music. Bo was also known for his characteristic rectangular guitar. He died of heart failure, surrounded by family members. Bo was 79.

I am glad that Bo had a long life, he contributed so much to the music world and will always be remembered. He's all the big honors and awards from rock and roll and blues music. And as he sings here, "Bo Diddley put the rock in rock and roll."

Isaac Hayes, 8/20/42 - 8/10/08. Born in Covington, Tennessee, Isaac was known for being a singer, songwriter, producer and actor with a focus on soul and funk. His career spanned almost four decades. He died of natural causes in his home. Isaac was 65.

Isaac had it going on in so many ways - as an actor, songwriter, producer, humanitarian. He also had a voice acting job as a popular character on "South Park" which ended rather unpleasantly. I think this video is a classic.

Isaac Hayes - Shaft Strikes Again
via FoxyTunes

LeRoi Moore, 9/7/61 - 8/19/08. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, LeRoi is best knows as a founding member and saxophonist of Dave Mathews Band, He played bass, baritone, tenor, alto and soprano sax as well as the flute, bass clarinet and oboe. LeeRoi was injured in an ATV accident in June '08 and suffered broken ribs and a punctured lungs. He died two months later as a result of those injuries. He was 46.

A very tragic death. It seemed that LeRoi would recover from this accident and was doing well. So when he suddenly died, it was a shock. I remember hearing he had passed away and that the band, who was touring here in Los Angeles at the time, chose to continue with the concert that night. My first thought was that it seemed a bit cold to go on stage the same night one of their members died. But Dave Mathews said its what LeRoi would have wanted. It probably provided the fans a chance to grieve together.

Dave Matthews; Tim Reynolds - Crash
via FoxyTunes

Richard William Wright
, 7/28/08 - 9/15/08 was born in Middlesex, England. He was a self-taught pianist and keyboardist and is best known for being a founding member of Pink Floyd. His keyboards have a distinct sound that can be heard in many of their classic songs. He died of an undisclosed form of cancer. Richard was 65.

Can you imagine Pink Floyd without Richard's keyboards? He was brilliant. Many people don't realize that he also occasionally sang lead vocals. I think David Gilmore says it well here, "No one can replace Richard Wright. He was my musical partner and my friend. In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick's enormous input was frequently forgotten. He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, magical components of our most recognised Pink Floyd sound."

Pink Floyd - Speak To Me/Breathe
via FoxyTunes

Levi Stubbs
, (Levi Stubbles), 6/6/36 - 10/17/08. Born in Detroit, Michigan Levi was the lead vocalist of the Motown R&B group The Four Tops. He was a natural baritone but most of their hit songs were written in a tenor range to "give the lead vocals a sense of urgency". Some of those hits include "Baby I Need Your Loving", "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)", "Standing in the Shadows of Love", "Bernadette", and "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)". Levi passed away in his sleep. He was 72.

One of my favorite vocalists of all time because his songs made me feel and dance and smile. He and his wife, Clineice, were married from 1969 till his death and had five children. To me that says a lot about him as a person and makes the lyrics of the songs he sang all that more special. I could watch these guys perform for hours, they has class and grace. Here's a favorite "Ain't No Woman LIke the One I Got".

The Four Tops - Loving you is Sweeter Than Ever
via FoxyTunes

Mitch Mitchell, (John Mitchell) 7/9/47 - 11/12/08. Born in Middlesex, England, Mitch was best known as the drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Mitch was trained as a jazz drummer and many believe him to be one of the top ten drummers of all time. He died in his sleep while on tour performing Hendrix songs. Mitch was 62.

I remember the moment I heard of Mitch's death. I was pulling into the parking lot after my lunch break and Cynthia Fox announced it on KLOS. It was hard to believe since he had just performed a few nights before in LA, and I had tickets to the show (but was unable to attend). I suppose for him, it was the best possible way to die, no suffering just passing from one life to the next. Here is a drum solo, a very passionate and talented player.

Jimi Hendrix - Little Wing
via FoxyTunes

Odetta,(Odetta Holmes), 12/31/30 - 12/2/08. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Odetta was a singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist. She was often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". She died of heart disease. Odetta was 77.

Odetta never slowed down even as she advanced in age and her health declined. Reading about her was very inspirational. She was highly regarded by many musicians and human rights activists and was hoping to sing at Pres. Obama's inauguration but died a month prior.

Odetta - HARD, OH LORD
via FoxyTunes


Perplexio said...

One more from 2008, I just found out about. Mike Baker(9/2/1963-10/29/2008)- heart attack.

Baker was the lead singer and a founding member of Shadow Gallery. His vocal style was inspired by Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, Alice Cooper, & Judas Priest's Rob Halford to name a few.

Tonal Memories said...

I am a huge fan of Shadow Gallery and Baker's voice was perfect for that band. I was nervous when they put out a CD with a new singer but it stay in the vein that Baker started.

A true story: I was out one night and was going to a local blues bar and wondered why the heck I had to pay so much to go in, it was because Buddy Miles was in there!!! I watch him from right behind his set. Then he whipped out a guitar that he said Jimi gave and played Jimi's stuff. If you closed your eyes you would swear Jimi was there. It was unbelievable.

Mitch Mitchel was another early drum influence for me. awesome drummer.

Tonal Memories said...

As i said in other post, Richard Wright's death hit me hard. I had the chance to see Pink Floyd for the Division Bell tour and always wished they would come back. Sure, someone could play his parts, but to me he is not replaceable.